Understanding the Global Warming Debate

Prof. Dr. William Eichinger

University of Iowa


It is unfortunate that the climate debate has devolved into dueling ad-hominem attacks which preclude serious discussion and rational policies. Normally, rational discussion identifies problems with existing theories and leads to their correction. The lack of such discussion has led to stagnation in the science of climate (indeed, a recent paper indicates that our predictive capability for large scale events (like an El Niño) has gotten worse in the last 20 years). This talk will examine the hypothesis of “catastrophic man-made global warming theory” from the point of view of a climate skeptic. This is done by following the chain of logic by which warming that is somehow man-made becomes serious enough that the effects are catastrophic and thus justify immediate and likely-expensive government action. The major links in the chain are examined to identify points of agreement and disagreement between the sides. Comparisons of the theory to actual data will allow the observers to draw their own conclusions about the strength of the scientific basis for the links in the chain and the necessity for drastic action. This type of analysis also lends itself to an explanation of why the two sides of the question seem to talk past each other.