Re: Environment

Russ Maatman (
Thu, 20 Jun 1996 11:39:00 -0500 (CDT)

To the ASA group:

One of the problems in the environmental debate lies in the difficulty
of getting accurate scientific data into the public discussion. Frederick
Seitz, eminent physicist (Past president of the American Physical Society,
past president of the National Academy of Sciences, president emeritus
of Rockefeller University, and chairman of the George C. Marshall Insitute)
higlights the problem in an article in the June 12 issue of the Wall
Street Journal. He discusses the recent report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (a U.N. organization), "The Science of Climate
Chagne 1995." Reports of this group have been and no doubt will be
very important; decisions affecting the entire global economy will
be based on this report, he says.

Seitz's problem is that it is the summary of the report which will
affect opinion, and not the report itself. For the summary contradicts
the report. Yet the summary will claim that Seitz and 59 other prominent
scientists approved the report. Seitz says that the summary differs
from what the scientific group approved in many ways. The following
quotations are provided by Seitz; they are from the report, and contradict
the summary:

"None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can
attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases
in greenhouse gases."

"No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate
change observed to date] to anthropogenic [manmade] causes."

"Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are
likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural
variability of the climate system are reduced."

Christians should be horrified at the violation of the Ninth Commandment
in reporting matters concerning the effect of man's activities on global


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Russell Maatman 401 Fifth Ave. SE
Dordt College Sioux Center, Iowa 51250
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250 Home phone: (712) 722-0421