Dr. Henry R. Savage: Disputing Krugman


— In the interest of balance, I offer a counterpoint to the recent column by Paul Krugman titled "Empire of Carbon." Mr. Krugman is a recent Nobel Laureate in economics, but his knowledge of the physical sciences seems to be the partisan political dogma regarding climate change.

He has bought into the view that carbon dioxide is a polutant responsible for global warming. He is not aware of the fact that global average temperature has been dropping for almost 10 years now while carbon dioxide continues to rise. This also happened for 40 years in the mid-20th century, and recent time resolution of ice core data going back many thousands of years shows that increases in carbon dioxide followed increases in temperature, not the reverse. This is expected because CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with both the biosphere and the oceans.

Mr. Krugman mentioned "junk science" when referring to the work supporting a view that opposes his. The real junk science is the mathematical modeling work that drives the conclusions of the politically active forces in climate change. A very prominent climate scientist, David Evans, of Australia, who favored Mr. Krugman's view for a long time recently changed his mind because some of the critical aspects of the models have been proved wrong, thus invalidating the models in his judgment. This and many other examples of world-class scientists who argue against anthropogenic climate change show that the word "consensus" is either misunderstood or it is a deliberate deception.

Mr. Krugman obviously has no exposure to the scientific literature in this field or he would know that. Evidence continues to grow that the variations in solar intensity are the primary driver of climate change. The Earth warms as the output of the sun increases and vice versa. This effect is seen in other planets of the solar system, as well - Mars, for example.

The saga continues.

Dr. Henry R. Savage

Steamboat Springs


ybul 7 years, 11 months ago


 You happen to read the national geographic article I posted a link too?  That thought process is a good one, Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Plank stated that progress happens one tombstone at a time as belief patterns are hard to let go of.

 It is too bad that the greenhouse gas folks will not concede that maybe there is an outside chance that part of the warming is related to the sun.  At the same time those who do not believe that warming is caused by us, should concede that the emissions of mercury from coal fired power plants is not good, along with the emissions from vehicles.

 There is a risk from the emissions at the center of the debate.  They may be health related they may be climate related.  I think the risks of not addressing those issues outweigh the economic concerns, as we will probably see a healthier population if we address the "global warming" issue.  We will probably see a country that is more energy independent also and thus less likely to be subject to outside disruptions, so the positives of trying to address the problem far outweigh the negatives.

 Center your debate on that not that the sky is falling, as if it is the sun might be causing it and there is nothing we can do about that, except adapt by building desalination plants for water to be pumped inland to irrigate the deserts to grow algae for biofuels.

trump_suit 7 years, 11 months ago

Dr. Savage, While I can completely agree with you that the Sun could be a large part of the current global warming, and also that the average temp on Mars is increasing I find the rest of your commentary questionable.

Do you beleive that the current level of emissions are acceptable?

Should we be transitioning to renewable resources?

Is it possible for Mankind to damage our planet?

You seem to espouse the view that it does not matter what mankind does because God and environment will fix it. I for one cannot support that view.


Scott Wedel 7 years, 11 months ago

The average temperature near the surface of the planet has been increasing. That is where we happen to live.

It is entirely expected that upper atmosphere temps could have declined for 10 years because the whole problem of greenhouse gases is that they keep the temperature in and so there is less heat escaping to the upper atmosphere and out to space.

And you know you are out of the realm of science and into the political when someone states that something cannot be a pollutant because is also occurs naturally. Most things, such a lead in water and radiation, also occur in nature. What makes it a pollutant is that it is undesirable at higher concentrations and human activities is a significant source of the increased concentrations.

As for the foxnews air quality report, probably will not be widely reported because is not really new or unexpected because epa regulations of prior administrations continued to take effect and economic downturns reduce economic activity and thus reduce pollution. It is good news indicating that environmental policies can work. The pollutants in that study are ground level smog so fewer people are breathing unhealthy air, but that study does not suggest that greenhouse gases declined.


seeuski 7 years, 11 months ago

It was not Fox news's air quality report, it was their reporting of a study done by scientists. There is no debate on global warming, there are political positions and arguments. The facts get lost in it all. I believe air polution has been and still is a problem in some areas but that is not warming.


Scott Wedel 7 years, 11 months ago

The criticism is that global warming is a media myth like previous scares fails to account for the number of studies over so many years. What other media scare story has continued for 20 years?

Previous scares that turned out to be unfounded were almost always the result of one or two studies that could not be duplicated and upon further review were found to be flawed.

Wiki has 120 citations for their article on global warming and thus studies are not a bunch of greenpeace studies, but from a wide variety of researchers.

There is not much more scientific doubt about global warming than there is about evolution.


ybul 7 years, 11 months ago

--- Roll the dice, the stakes are high,but so what. ---

I think that sums it up, right there. Without 100% certainty one way or the other, the risk of trying to mitigate carbon emissions is far less than the risk of not.


Chris Kipfer 7 years, 11 months ago

Paul Krugman is no physicist or climatologist. However,Dr. Henry R. Savage is no economist. He seems to have no concern for risk management concerning the survival of our species. Only if one believes that God would never let Man destroy mankind is his thesis is understandable. The problem of dismissing the majority opinion of the scientific community,I'll grant it's not a consensus, is that the economic future of our grandchildren is threatened. Worse yet,the specie's survival is threatened. Mankind is engaging in a scientific experiment with the planet as his laboratory. The outcome is uncertain. If Dr. Savage is wrong the Planet is doomed. Krugman,the liberal,was explaining the possible repercussions of the housing price bubble in 2005. He is explaining the possible repercussions of global warming now. Dr. Savage,the conservative,is telling us to dismiss all risk to survival. Roll the dice, the stakes are high,but so what.


David Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

To those of you who have commented on Dr. Savage's editorial, do you have any evidence to refute his basic thesis: (1) global warming that has been observed on Earth has been caused by natural variations in solar cycles; and (2) we know this to be true because scientists have observed the same warming over the same period of time on other planets where there is no human activity (e.g., Mars)?

If you have this evidence, I would be interested to see it. With respect for each of you, however, Dr. Savage's belief in God or whether you perceive him to be a member of the "religious right" does not disprove (1) or (2), any more than the suggestion that any of you (1) does not believe in God and (2) are members of the "immoral left" would prove the contrary.

Now I need to go back to work.

David Wilson


Fred Duckels 7 years, 11 months ago

Are you telling me that the global warming idea does not have conflictiog interests? I would love to know the truth, and it is difficult to discern when special interest fingers are all over the scale, on both sides. The left says it's a done deal, but I would question anyone this cocksure. The warming idea is an excellent political tool for starters.


Ann Holmes 7 years, 11 months ago

Snowbow: Your (sic "you're") comments should be deleted. Name calling/labeling someone as "Christian right" is not appropriate in this discussion. Dr. Savage did not bring religion into this discussion, but maybe global warming is a religion to your liberal left? And, the shoe fit Cinderella. Perhaps her step sisters would have to cut off their toes to make it fit; similarly you need to rethink some of your grammar and analogies as well as your thought processes and conclusions!


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