Professor Willie Soon was recently contacted by some students from Denmark. The questions that posed presupposed that global warming was a dire threat. The following are the questions from the students with Professor Soon’s answers:
We are pupils from Denmark
We are starting a project and the topic is “change”. We have chosen the subtopic “global warming”.
Do you have the time to answer a few questions in writing?
1. What is behind global warming?
ANSWER: If you are asking about what is causing global temperature changes, warming or cooling or neutral, then one must surely say that both external factors like the Sun and internal factors including how ocean, atmosphere and land processes operate will be both sufficient and necessary components for studying and explaining the changes. The proposed factors like rising atmospheric CO2 as a result of the beneficial use of fossil fuels should of course also be carefully studied and quantified.
In case you are interested in learning more of the details on what my scientific research for the past 27+ years has found, here is a 52-min talk that I gave for a group of students at a summer camp in July:
Science has the most peculiar property of being able to reject many many untruthful claims and speculations while
allows us to identify those rare fews that are true and correct.
2. What can we do to prevent global warming?
ANSWER: Well, I am not sure why “preventing” is not too presumptuous of a goal or an ambition.
Why preventing? The point is that changes, warming or cooling,
are not all necessarily bad or harmful as popular media would like to presume and portray even though that presumptions can be wrong or incorrect. If for example that one can show or prove that most of the warming and cooling that we observed so far can be explained by the change in the incoming solar radiation, then who or what can we do to control the Sun’s light outputs?
If any scientist can prove that it is all because of man-made rise in atmospheric CO2, then one should ask would we have any confidence that lowering atmospheric CO2 will cool the global temperature? Even if it is so, one should further ask what would be the correct or optimal level of atmospheric CO2 to benefit which parts or components of Earth?
3. If we don’t do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants?
ANSWER: Once again, doing anything to get what result or what optimal goal does anyone has ? I think the most reasonable and sensible approach towards such a concern about how human beings can affect our local, regional and even global environments and meteorological and climatic conditions would be to find a good balance between life (for all life and not limited to only humans!) and our natural world. If you do not mind, I like to include this finely written essay by Professor Freeman Dyson of Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study which essentially was written for high-school students. (My apology if you are not yet in high-school but never too early to start learning). https://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf
4. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable?
ANSWER: In my humble opinion, future will always be what it is. Earth will almost surely never reach the point of “unlivable” for all life on Earth. If we as human beings have trust and faith in science and technology and human good will, in terms of preserving life for ourselves and all other life forms, then I could not foresee the most negative outcome for Earth to become “unlivable”.
5. How can we save Earth if it isn’t too late?
ANSWER: Once again, the notion of saving the Earth involves another rather narrow and human-centric way to think about Earth’s natural environment which clearly include human beings as one part of the very big sum total. I do not think it is too late or even too early to try to keep improving our lives and the natural world surrounding us. One of the biggest factors that allow humans to pollute our environments and to care less of our water, air and land is actually poverty. So in a positive way, for those of us who are more fortunate to live in a more well-endowed and well-prepared and comfortable conditions, we can try to help improve living conditions for those who are truly poor and have very littleof everything to live well and comfortably.