Last night in Hickory, N.C., in a forum co-sponsored by the John Locke Foundation and the Reese Institute for Conservation of Natural Resources, atmospheric scientist John Christy debated William Schlesinger, former dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. It was a skeptic vs. alarmist smackdown, and the local newspaper of record, the Daily Record, thinks that Christy may have prevailed (see sidebar):
An informal, unscientific survey revealed that many attendees, regardless of age, think global warming is overblown and people should not panic about the future.
Schlesinger said most people don’t want to recognize the problem, that they hope it will just go away. “It won’t,” he said. “It will only get worse.”
Show me the evidence was Christy’s mantra. The data doesn’t justify the gloom and doom, he said. Wishful thinking or not, a lot of people who attended the forum agree with Christy.
My colleague at the Locke Foundation, vice president for research (and debate timekeeper) Roy Cordato, had a much stronger take with which I agree, as you might expect:
…Schlesinger said that he was not going to discuss the science. He then went directly to rattling off scary scenarios about the future. So about two thirds of his talk was scare mongering with no actual defense of the hypothesis that human induced catastrophic global warming is in the process of occurring. What is interesting is that in “skipping over the science” he flipped through a number of slides that he had prepared to use including the now infamous and discredited “hockey stick” graph showing 900 years of no climate change and the last 100 years of dramatic warming.
You can watch the whole 75-minute debate on the Locke Foundation’s blog. It’s also posted in eight pieces on YouTube.