FRANKLIN, Tennessee – On the surface, it would appear that Roy Spencer has a comfortable life.
He is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he directs climate research projects and has authored books and numerous articles for scientific journals.
Unfortunately for Spencer, he comes down on the wrong side – the politically incorrect side – of global warming and climate change, for which he has taken a lot of heat.
“Nothing we are seeing today is really out of the ordinary,” he said Saturday, sounding exasperated and battle weary as he discussed weather patterns.
Spencer spoke at the Tennessee Eagle Forum Conference at the Embassy Suites hotel, where he provided a summary of the climate debate and spoke of his book, “An Inconvenient Deception: How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy.”
Spencer said he isn’t a climate denier, but rather a “lukewarmer.” He believes that carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere is causing some warming, but that it’s uncertain how much of it is the result of human activity. It’s also uncertain, he said, if we’re warmer now than during periods of warming in centuries past, such as during the medieval and Roman ages.
“Climate changes naturally,” he said. “That’s something that isn’t often stated.”
Yet it’s something the public instinctively understands, even as climate scientists over the past 30 years have been indoctrinated to believe that “climate can only change when we cause it to change,” Spencer said.
The media has been complicit in promoting spurious ideas about climate change because reporters won’t ask questions that might yield answers that don’t fit with the accepted narrative, he said.
While some people point to the two recent hurricanes in the U.S. as evidence of an unusual occurrence, Spencer said there is a historical pattern of going for some years without getting hit by a major hurricane and then one year getting pounded.
“There’s no good objective evidence that any kind of severe weather is getting worse,” he said. “In fact, major tornadoes in recent years have been down quite a bit.”
Spencer said he believes the modest warming trend we are experiencing may continue, but that it is not necessarily a bad thing. Plants depend on carbon dioxide, and the rest of the food chain depends on plants.
“Even if global warming was a huge problem and was entirely our fault, there is nothing substantial we can do about it without killing millions of people because humanity requires abundant, affordable energy,” he said. “Solar and wind do not yet meet that.”
Spencer said he has never gotten any money from oil companies, even though people think he does get funding from them.