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Arthur Smith and I have crossed swords 5 years ago, as he correctly points out. While I would never describe his assertions as ‘polemics’, or ‘a toxic brew of misinformation’, I do still appreciate his interest and comment. But he is incorrect in virtually all of his assertions, and as the editor has allowed, I will comment briefly.
Regarding information on things like sea level rise, anyone who looks at the Internet data as much as I have, can see that things do not change very much from year to year. Hence my goal was never to use the absolute most up to date information; rather it was use information easily available on the Internet, so that anyone can check up on what I presented anywhere, anytime. This avoids the need to go to a large university library, or the library of congress to scour a bunch of obscure, dusty journals. The data speaks for itself; there is no need for any expert to interpret it. The linked paper in my Forum article gave various assertions by alarmists, and then checked them out with an Internet search. (See https://www.ijeas.org/download_data/IJEAS0407025.pdf for a more up to date version.) The unmistakable conclusion is that the claims of the alarmists simply do not stand up to serious scrutiny. For instance take the sea level rise, which Mr. Smith mentions. My claim was 20-25 cm/century. His numbers vary between 15 to 36 cm/century; not such a big difference, considering that at the December 2015 Paris meeting, some people were talking, with absolute certainty, about a 4-6 meter rise, by century’s end. Actually it is likely that Mr. Smith’s upper estimate is too high. In an April 17, 2017 (is this recent enough for him?) op ed in the Wall Street Journal, Steven Koonin, a very reliable authority, said that the rise in sea level has slowed down. See his quote in my Forum article. This is made much more credible by the recent NASA measurements that over the entire continent, ice in Antarctica is forming, not melting (see https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses)
Regarding NOAA, there is no question that it damaged its credibility by suddenly changing its figures to those more pleasing to its political bosses at the time. If on an issue this important, which could affect the lives of billions of people, NOAA felt that its earlier figures were in error, its proper course would have been to invite several major labs and universities, in the USA and abroad, to go over the figures and methodology with them, and come out with some sort of joint statement. I am reasonably sure that my lab, the Naval Research Lab, would have been happy to help if asked. Instead NOAA played its cards very close to the vest. Who knows what to believe now?
Regarding energy use, I stand by my figures 3 and 4. Mr. Smith and I could quibble over whether the electricity production from solar and wind is 17% of capacity (the figure I have usually seen) or 30%, his figure. But take 20% of his 800 gigawatts installed, and the power delivered is in the neighborhood of 160 GW, just about 1% of the 14 TW the world uses, just as my article claims. This is after $140 billion was spent in the USA alone to develop solar power. Germany has decided to go to solar power for electricity, and has succeeded producing ~25% of its electric power with solar and wind. However their power is strongly subsidized by the government, and yet customers pay triple what we pay for a kilowatt hour, and double what the mostly nuclear French pay. In addition, they still emit more CO2 into the atmosphere per capita than their European neighbors. This is carefully documented in my papers linked here and in Forum article. The data up to now is unambiguous; sunlight is free, but solar produced electricity is very, very expensive.
I have several friends who would be only too happy to sell Mr. Smith their solar and wind stock for half of what they paid for it.
(Retired from NRL)
These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.