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Posted on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

University of Michigan professors to host climate change forum in Dexter

By Amy Biolchini

Two researchers from the University of Michigan will be talking about the science behind climate change this week at a forum in Dexter.

The "Climate Change: The Science and What it Means to You" event will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dexter District Library at 3255 Alpine St.


Henry Pollack is among three professors from the University of Michigan who will be speaking at a climate change forum in Dexter Tuesday.

Courtesy of U-M

Henry Pollack and Christopher Poulsen, both professors at U-M, will be speaking about the scientific evidence that they say points to climate change.

Stephen M. Ross School of Business Professor of Sustainable Enterprise Andrew Hoffman will also speak at the event about America's consensus on climate change.

The event is sponsored by Organizing for Action Washtenaw, a non profit organization that was established to support President Barack Obama's national agenda.

Amy Biolchini is the K-12 education reporter for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

@Pika and others: FYI


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 4:55 a.m.

It is interesting to observe how successful the large energy producers, affectionately known as "Big Oil" and Big Coal" have been in persuading people in this country that climate change is a myth. This current campaign is similar to another dis-information campaign in the not so distant past by the "Big Tobacco" companies that persuaded people that cigarette smoke was not bad for you. A lot of smokers clung to their packs to the bitter end rationalizing every which way they could that it wasn't the habit that was killing them. They could all point to some friend or relative that smoked two packs a day until they got run over by trolley in their nineties. "This study was faked" or "that researcher is making a living from government grants so he is obviously biased" was a common retort. My father-in law died from several illnesses related to or caused by smoking and was very bitter that nobody made him stop. I see a common thread of unwillingness to accept responsibility. If you think Al Gore has made a lot of money, he has, but it is insignificant compared to the money being made by those who are currently benefiting from the political status quo.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:03 a.m.

Uh........ no.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

Forty years ago, similar Chicken Littles were running around screaming hysterically about the upcoming Ice Age. Forty years from now, it'll be something else - whatever helps them get some good old Government grant money and publish a few papers for their deciples to eat up.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

This is actually a misconception. The vast majority of the climate papers published by scientists in the 1970's predicted warming. We now have a much stronger scientific understanding of what is actually happening with the Earth's climate and 97% of the world's climate scientists agree that human industrial activity is causing the world to warm.

Robert Hughes

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

It was a good evening's talk. If you missed it, the video will be posted on the OFA site pretty soon.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

August 19th NYT: "An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace."

John Minock

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I have never understood how the conclusion that human activity is substantial enough to affect the Earth's climate has become politicized based upon disinformation. There is no doubt among the scientists who study climate, other than a handful of hirelings of the fossil fuel industry. It's as though Rupert Murdoch published stories saying "the Earth is flat. We report, you decide," and a minority concluded it's not safe to fly for fear of falling off the edge.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Shaking my head. Guess it doesn't do much good to point out the real facts. There are way too many kool-aid drinkers in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

I'm assuming you are denying climate change. I only wonder if you've ever considered the possibility that the converse of what you perceive is actually true? I would recommend that you spend so serious time educating yourself for real on this question as the significance of this issue is not going to go away. Human caused climate change is very real and the real "money" interests have spend a great deal to make sure that people like you remain skeptical. Who really are the kool-aid drinkers here?


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

what a scam they have going here destroy the economy, enrich those who support obama by diverting BILLIONS of our tax $$$ to companies that produce "green" energy all in the name of a fictitious phenomenon that is nothing more than the world doing what it has always done. weather changes, it always has always will. the greed and sliminess of these organizations is disgusting.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

bluemax79 - the cost of doing nothing will eventually prove to be significantly higher than the cost of trying to address this problem now. The science is telling us something important and we can choose to ignore it and have more hurricane Sandy's and failed cherry crops or we can start to act on the important information that best minds our society has and work on the problem. We are already paying a great deal because of climate change. Take for instance the failed cherry crop in Michigan last year. This was related to climate change. Acting now will save more than the cost of managing the problem intelligently. The only ones who don't want to solve this problem really are the big oil and coal companies because they stand to lose money as people shift to more sustainable energy sources.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

The fact that this discussion is sponsored by Organizing for Action makes it suspect. Would OFA sponsor an opposing viewpoint? That's what science is about...


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Sponsored by whomever is really irrelevant to what the scientists actually said. Obviously OFA has a political agenda. Since that agenda happens to correlate with a real situation explains why they (and others) would support this event. You should have come and learned about the science.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

Abrah Abrah Cadabra, I want to reach out and grab ya! Seriously, there is as much science that leans the other way and conflicts with what these folks are saying. Global Warming, Climate Change , Climate Chaos or whatever one wants to call it cannot be proven at this point. Good Day


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

No your statement is false. 97% of active climate scientists agree that human caused global warming is happening. This is a very strong agreement. We can't absolutely "prove" the law of gravity but we understand that it is quite real. Human caused climate change is very real. It is affecting your life and will affect it more dramatically in just a few short years. I challenge you to educate yourself because the science is not nearly as "unproven" as you perceive. Perhaps you should try changing to channel other than FOX.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 10:58 a.m.

Thinking is good. Being open to others' ideas is good. Learning is good. What is there to fear? Science and critical thinking are also good. Unlimited emissions from fossil fuels is bad. Knee jerk reactions are not helpful. The Koch brothers' and their ilk's campaign to eliminate all controls on fossil fuel emissions is one of the primary sources of "information" about the foolishness of thinking we have a climate change problem. Adding $$s to their coffers is their primary agenda. Dealing with the extremes in weather (yes cold and hot, dry and wet) is costing our country as well as the world increasingly more billions of $$$s for clean up and restoration. Water shortages are becoming an increasing concern in areas that have had ample sources. If for no other reason, it is time to take a serious look at what is going on and how it needs to be dealt with.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Who's paying for the climate change science studies? Al Bore,How large is his home?As for the professor don't bite the hand that feeds you.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

This looks like Lana Pollack's husband. Will she be there for the "Discussion"


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 4:28 a.m.

In Duh-exter?


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 3 p.m.

It's Dexter not ypsi-tacky, can't use Kentucky as a red neck low life they all moved to Michigan

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 11:32 a.m.

Which shows you know as little about Dexter as you do about climate change.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

I am ambivalent about the "Climate Change" issue, but I have the Highest Regard for distinguished Prof Henry Pollack's scientific methodology and look forward to hearing his scientific opinion. Henry is a true scientist and a straight shooter. As far as I can determine thru Federal FIOA, his research has not been corrupted by "Greenie" grants. The many negative comments by readers are Ill Deserved by Henry. Listen to the man; then make your decision accordingly!


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

OutfieldDan - you ask good questions. You are correct water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. But what the scientists understand well is that water vapor is a component of the system and thus as CO2 increases and forces the climate to become warmer more water vapor enters the atmosphere. Thus CO2 is the forcing agent and H20 is part of the system. A good portion of Professor Pollack's work is about how the climate system of the earth responds to changes in CO2. The correlation between increased CO2 and increased temperature is dramatic. Water vapor is a critical feedback in this mechanism. We understand that CO2 is the cause of climate change because it as well as water vapor absorbs IR (heat) radiation. Thus climate changes with increased CO2. And unfortunately the scientific predictions are very dramatic. Current projects indicate 11 degrees F by the end of this century if we do nothing. The CO2 mixing at 400ppm in our atmosphere is understood and global. There are not "cooler" areas with less CO2. Scientists measure CO2 concentrations at many sites worldwide and they all agree rather well with the Mauna Loa data. We know from Dr. Pollack's work that when CO2 was higher in the past the climate was also warmer. We don't know the exact causes of past climate changes but we do know the cause of the current one because scientists can calculate and measure it directly. The atmosphere is acting exactly as the models predict. It is warmer in the troposphere but cooler in the stratosphere. This is the fingerprint of human caused global warming. It is wrong to say that any given storm is the result of anthropogenic climate change because the Earth is a very complex system with many dynamic effects. But it is wrong to say that events such as Sandy are not related to climate change - they are. Everything that happens in the weather today is a result of climate change. We know the Earth is warming. Good luck in your stu


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

I know Henry and I have the highest regard for his research. He's renowned for his work about earth's subsurface heat flow and measurements. He has credible credentials, but he is not an atmospheric scientist. His research provides evidence of past earth climate events, but I don't think he has determined the cause of the climate events, and the measurements he has taken do not help with how rapid the earth's climate has or can change naturally. His borehole measurements simply do not have that much resolution except for relatively recent times. I think it's ok to be skeptical. I wish I could be there. My questions are about CO2 and if 1) 400 ppm is meaningful when the rest of the atmosphere is dominated by water vapor and it's larger greenhouse effect; 2) Is the increase in CO2 sustainable, or will it balance out with plants growing faster and spreading to more cool areas that become available as the climate warms? I think the so called increase in storm intensity is ALL political. LOL, Sandy isn't the first hurricane or even the worst that New York has experienced. Check out the one that hit in 1938.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 3:08 a.m.

There's one thing that has always perplexed me about naysaying climate change: Even if someone doesn't believe the scientific evidence, what could possibly be wrong with increased energy efficiency, minimizing our consumption, having cleaner air and water, etc.? They naysayers seem to have an almost immediate knee-jerk reaction that someone is taking something away from them. A healthier planet and healthier people is a net win for everyone though.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

"since we began keeping track" A very key phrase.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

OK, lets break down what you've written. What part of the evidence do you see through? Can you cite some specific examples? Are you going to tell the people of Greenland that the complete shift of their environment (and their lives) is imaginary? What about the melting of the ice? What about the highest temperatures on record since we began keeping track? What about the instability in weather overall? Most of your comment is filled with stereotypes about a segment of the population (which, quite honestly, don't make sense. None of the earthy crunchy people I know eat at McDonalds or smoke cigs, but anyway). What does your support of a better environment have to do with your perception of others who, rightfully or wrongfully, claim to believe the same? If you believe in a better environment, and the things necessary to get there, screw what other people may do that appears hypocritical.

Tim Hornton

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 3:27 a.m.

Most people want a healthy planet but the global warming thing is a silly made up lie that most people see right through even with all the "evidence". Taking care of the earth is important but it's the same people that drive a honda civic with a million preachy liberal bumper stickers all over it telling people how great they are and how stupid everyone else is that doesn't think like them that throw their McDonald's trash out the window along with their cig butt... hypocrits.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

It's amazing to me that so many people in this forum are up in arms over a discussion of climate change. When 97 percent of scientists agreed that human activities are changing the natural greenhouse I would think that a discussion of what that portends would be useful. At the same time, I can understand that folks whose livelihoods depend on coal, oil etc. would want a voice in the responses/solutions. That said, the "let's mock the idea because Al Gore supports it" approach makes no sense to me.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Are they serving kool-aid? Save your breath,try not to exhale as often.hahaha


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Al Gore made MILLIONS by pushing this agenda that should tell you why he and these others are pushing it. they are too late to get into oil and coal so they INVENT a crisis and push tax $$$ into their own pockets. and you lemmings follow them, what a sham.

Tim Hornton

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

Rumor has it the tooth fairy and a live megalodon will be present at this "enlightening" "science"event. Can't wait! In the time it took me to write this, 5 polar bears suddenly died from the evil corporations causing global warming.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

ROFL, great post Tim! Good Day


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

Do all these climate change naysayers really live in Ann Arbor?


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

I knew that this article would bring the Talk Radio folks out of the woodwork! And I'm also ecstatic because I'm one of those "Word Guys" who has one of those tear-off, "New-Word-A-Day" calendars on his desk. And I now eagerly await the appearance of the word "expousers" at the next turning of the page, brought to us today by the commenter who calls him-/herself "thinker." Dog Guy gets an honorable mention for "salvific," but on my calendar, that word is SO 90-days-ago.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

Apparently most of you haven't gotten the word. Global warming became climate change, became climate chaos, became extreme weather. But the new and proper term for any and all minor variations in weather that the earth has experience over and over again without any intervention by mankind is that the proper term today is, IRRITABLE CLIMATE SYNDROME! Get with the program or Al Gore will come after you.

G. Orwell

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

I wonder what the good professor would say about other planets in our solar system going through the same warming as cooling as the earth. Could it be the fluctuations in the sun's output that is causing climate change?

Erica Ackerman

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

The fact that there has been some variation in Mars' South Pole ice cap does not mean that the whole planet is warming.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

This is a naive denier argument which is actually false. Mars is not warming globally. It is unfortunate that you so easily swallow a weak (and actually false) denier argument while simultaneously you are incapable of seeing the very strong scientific consensus on the stark and human caused warming of our home planet.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 3:59 a.m.

Uh, Mr. Orwell, which other planets do you believe are like the earth? And why?


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

He would say they should have controlled their climate and now they are all uninhabitable..............

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Professors Pollack and Poulsen are highly regarded, dedicated researchers from the U of M Department of Earth & Environmental Science. Their work has won acclaim after acclaim in the scientific community. I've had the privilege of providing technical support for both gentleman for the past decade at the university. I'd encourage folks who are unsure about Climate Change, its existence and its effect on our lives, to attend this event. Regrettably, the science of Climate Change has been politicized. That has done a great disservice to the topic at a time when we need to be the most aware.

Erica Ackerman

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

Mike, I was the person who chose the presenters. I invited a number of professors, including Prof. Poulsen, without knowing their position on climate change beforehand. Given that 97% of climate scientists believe that humans are the main factor in global warming, I felt pretty confident that the speakers invited would believe in human-caused global warming. If we had somehow gotten one of the 3% that are either neutral or don't believe in it, they would have been welcome to speak.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Mike, there is no science on the other side. Just Koch brother propaganda repeated by Tea Party supporters who no nothing at all about the subject. The facts of global warming aren't being debated, just the most right-wing hallucinations repeated by hate radio.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

The question is not whether or not there is climate change. There always has been and always will be. Mankind, with nearly unlimited hubris, takes credit for the changes and tries to control it. That is unfortunate for all but the few who are in on the joke. Those few- Al Gore is probably at the top of the list- become wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.

Mike, it's not meant to be a debate. These gentleman are relaying the fruits of their scientific research. What would the harm be in considering their information? None really.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

Are there any opposing presenters? I didn't think so............Not very scientific or informational if only one side is presented. if they state there is no evidence of another side then they are agendists and not researchers


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

"The event is sponsored by Organizing for Action Washtenaw, a non profit organization that was established to support President Barack Obama's national agenda." Yep. Shocking, that.

Dog Guy

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

Courtesy of Sol, Earth is enjoying an interglacial period. Since the last Galcial Maximum 20,000 years ago, men have watched Mean Sea Level rise more than 400 feet and flood coastal homelands. As warming continues, Professor Harold Hill flim-flams us with a salvific boys band.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

Is Al Gore a guest speaker?


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

Is it cold outside? Must be snowing. Is it warm outside? Must be summer. Is it damp, wet and dreary outside? It must be raining. Can I join the group? Go figure!


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

He ha ha ha ha! Climate change! Global warming one year, global cooling the next!


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Jester - I understand that you can phrase an argument in a different way when the original argument doesn't fit the hypothesis


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

Steven let me cherry pick and name the first, Al Gore

Steve Bean

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

"I don't believe in global warming and all the hucksters that are making millions off of it." Name three.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

I wonder if all the expousers of global warming believe in g.w. anymore either. Now they are calling it "climate change".


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

@infinite jester- I don't believe in global warming and all the hucksters that are making millions off of it. I do believe in climate change usually occurring over hundreds of years, and not amenable to our puny efforts to change it.

The Infinite Jester

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

You clearly don't understand climate change.