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RE: Climate Change

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If a climatologist told us that structural engineering is a bunch of “hocus pocus” because the stack of assumptions used to derive the lateral loads that are used to size the members used are based on limited data, how would we respond? I’m not interested in what SEs have to say about climate change any more than I care what a weatherman has to say about properties of Chinese steel vs US steel, or their opinion on OSHPD review criteria. Neither group really understands the issues involved in the other’s decision making, and we all do the best we can with the data we have. 


I will generally take the opinion of the majority of structural engineers (coupled with my judgment if I’m qualified) when I make an engineering decision.  By the same token, I will accept the preponderance of opinion of the climatological community; if the opposing arguments build enough data, then the opinion will change. 


I was at a conference where a climatologist was speaking a few weeks ago, and someone (decidedly skeptical) asked him what he thought about the issue—his response was interesting. If I remember right, he made some references to the preponderance of evidence, but he also said that we the issue is being used as a distraction by folks who don’t want to deal with the realities of pollution and energy use, his point being that not believing in global warming or disliking environmentalists is not an excuse to pollute and be wasteful. I thought that was pretty good advice.


The media is another story.  Go ahead and nail them to the wall for their alarmism.




Shaun Dustin, MS, PE


From: Stan Caldwell [mailto:stancaldwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 8:45 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Climate Change


I am finally ready to concede global warming.  Here in Texas, it is fact.  It is undeniable that things will get a good deal warmer before we get any relief.  We have a name for this phenomenon.  We call it SPRING.


Seriously, anyone losing any sleep over global warming should study history.  In the 60s, it was the Population Bomb.  If we kept having kids, we would all starve to death by the end of the millenium.  It didn't happen, I weigh more now than I did then.  In the 70s, we were all going to die because of the proliferation of nuclear power plants.  Americans listened and shut them all down.  Only the French and the Swedes stayed with nuclear.  Now we envy them for their foresight (but not for anything else).  In 20 or 30 years, our grandchildren will look back at our current panic over global warming and have a good hearty laugh.  Then they will put on their parkas and go polar bear hunting in their personal helicopters, just for fun. 


And good old Prof. Astaneh will be blaming the big chill on corruption by his fellow engineers. 



On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 8:06 PM, Christopher Wright <chrisw(--nospam--at)> wrote:

On Apr 17, 2008, at 5:36 PM, Terry Weatherby wrote:

       End of political rant.  Please return to your regularly scheduled
STRUCTURAL discussion....

But you did start it. If you want another look at the global warming contrarians check <> for a point-by point head-to-head comparison of science to smoke and mirrors.. Here's another rebuttal from the UNion of Concerned Scientists <>, containing some very informative e-mails in an Appendix.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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