Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scientist wants off the no-fry list

Peter Doran, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, wants to get off the no-fry list. No, that's not a typo, his research on polar climate has been widely and wrongfully cited by the "skeptics" as "proof" that global warming is a myth born in the fevered imaginations of environmentalists. As he states in an op-ed in the NYT, the global warming skeptics, focused on one small part of his study and have been using it out of context for the last four and half years.
Our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear” and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.” Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents — all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that “the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle.” I have never thought such a thing either.
Doran admits that his and a similar study published in Science magazine at the same time have not provided the definitive answer about how global warming will ultimately affect the planet but nothing in his study should be construed to suggest that the planet is cooling rather than warming. He admits that some disagreements exist among scientists over how the phenomenon will play out but in the meantime he would really appreciate it if the skeptics would stop skewing his research for their own purposes. I would respectfully suggest, he not hold his breath waiting.
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