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He’s a “local scientist” because the paper is published in Madison, WI. He could also be described as “the father of scientific climatology,” which is how he’s described in the article’s first sentence.
Here’s what he has to say:
“There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the ‘Little Ice Age,'” he said in an interview this week.
“However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We’ve been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It’s been warming up for a long time,” Bryson said.
The Little Ice Age was driven by volcanic activity. That settled down so it is getting warmer, he said.
Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the effect is tiny, Bryson said.
“It’s like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact that there is a fly sitting on its head. It’s just a total misplacement of emphasis,” he said. “It really isn’t science because there’s no really good scientific evidence.”
Just because almost all of the scientific community believes in man-made global warming proves absolutely nothing, Bryson said. “Consensus doesn’t prove anything, in science or anywhere else, except in democracy, maybe.”
Maybe he’s being paid off?
Bryson, 87, was the founding chairman of the department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since. He does it without pay.
“I have now worked for zero dollars since I retired, long enough that I have paid back the people of Wisconsin every cent they paid me to give me a wonderful, wonderful career. So we are even now. And I feel good about that,” said Bryson.
He thinks some people may be cashing in, though:
“There is a lot of money to be made in this,” he added. “If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can’t get grants unless you say, ‘Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'”
Speaking out against global warming is like being a heretic, Bryson noted.
And it’s not something that he does regularly.
“I can’t waste my time on that, I have too many other things to do,” he said.
But if somebody asks him for his opinion on global warming, he’ll give it. “And I think I know about as much about it as anybody does.”
“There is very little truth to what is being said and an awful lot of religion. It’s almost a religion. Where you have to believe in anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming or else you are nuts.”
Dr. Bryson compares the theory of anthropogenic global warming to a religion in that both discipline heretics. There is another way in which they are similar.
Religious peoples’ views are infused by religion. They tend to see things in terms of their religion, and find meaning in the world thereby. Here’s an example of the same phenomenon in a global-warming context:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.
“It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought,” Ban said in the Washington daily.
When Darfur’s land was rich, he said, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water, he said.
With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.
“For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out,” he said.
If we could only stop global warming, we’d have heaven on earth.