On January 31, a two-day barrage of panels dealing with global warming issues concludes at Colorado State University. The sessions are part of an "unprecedented teach-in" taking place around the country coordinated by the Green House Network under the rubric Focus the Nation. But of the fifty CSU profs involved in the discussion, one is conspicuous by his absence.
No, it's not philosophy professor Holmes Rolston, who's hosting a thumbsucker on "The Ethics of Climate Change." No, not Tom Dean, who teaches in something called the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program, and weighs in today on "Economics and Climate Change," nor chem prof Anthony Rappe, who addresses alternative energies, nor writer Laura Pritchett, who tackles the subject of dumpster diving. They're all joining in, but as usual, professor emeritus Bill Gray finds himself, by choice or design, unincluded.
Gray, a forty-year veteran of CSU's atmospheric sciences department and a leading hurricane researcher, is an outspoken skeptic of the manmade global-warming claims advanced by leading climatologists around the world — some of whom happen to be his former students. Gray acknowledges that the climate is changing but suggests that natural processes, including shifts in ocean circulation, are responsible. To review how much heat he's taken over that position, see our 2006 feature "The Skeptic."
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The teach-in presentations take manmade climate change, and particularly the insidious role of carbon dioxide in amplifying the greenhouse effect, as established science. Gray demurs, which is probably why you won't find him on the premises. It's too bad; he would have been an ideal panelist for a little give-and-take discussion scheduled for this afternoon, entitled "Doubting Thomases, Friends, Parents: Talking with the Unconvinced." – Alan Prendergast