Only Scientist On The Coal Ash Commission Is A Global Warming Denier

Only Scientist On The Coal Ash Commission Is A Global Warming Denier

First we found out at the Coal Ash Management Commission is already planning for rate increases to pay for the coal ash mess that Duke Energy created. Now we’re learning that Governor McCrory’s appointee for the only position on the commission reserved specifically for someone with a science background doesn’t believe in global warming. In fact, he even admits that his views are far outside the mainstream. From WUNC’s article,

Herbert Eckerlin has been an engineering professor at NC State for nearly five decades. In the early 1980s, he built the Solar House, which later became the NC State Solar Center. He was also a treasurer at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.

But if anything, he was a bit humble when he introduced himself at the first meeting of the Coal Ash Management Commission.

“My areas of expertise are in energy, including solar,” he said when it was his turn to speak. “I also do a lot of work in energy efficiency and other renewables.”

With these credentials, Eckerlin seems a solid choice to fill the only position on the commission reserved specifically for someone with a science background.

But as a man of science, Eckerlin is outside of the mainstream on at least one topic: global warming.

When he presented at the North Carolina Energy Policy Council in September, he had this to say:

“Unfortunately global warming is not an issue that we can prove or disprove. A little history may be helpful. Between 1950 and 1970 we went through a period of global cooling. Between 1970 and 1998 we had global warming. Over the last 15 years global temperatures have stabilized, while CO2 emissions in China and India have increased dramatically, and U.S. emissions have declined. These recent trends don’t match the global climate model, and we don’t know why. Perhaps the model has to be refined and updated. Furthermore, the CO2 reductions in the U.S. are not sufficient to offset the increases in CO2 emissions in China and India. What to do? More research is needed.”

Eckerlin’s opinion on global warming runs counter to the most recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Unfortunately, the statement is erroneous in many ways,” says Dr. Drew Shindell, a professor of Climate Sciences at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment who helped write the 2013 version of the IPCC report. “Science academies around the world and hundreds of scientists around the world have all reached the conclusion that it is more than 95 percent caused by humans and it’s unequivocal that the planet is warming.”

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Eleanore Wood

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