Letter: No scientific controversy on climate change, cause

No scientific controversy on climate change, cause

To the editor:

A Feb. 7 letter to the editor seemed to argue that climate change doesn't exist because in that gentleman's mind it hasn't met some threshold of absolute scientific proof.

In the international scientific community, there is near-unanimous consensus that the earth's climate is warming. There is no scientific "controversy" on this point. The only disagreement comes from a small but vocal subset of scientists funded by corporations whose profits depend on denying evidence of climate change — much like tobacco companies that for decades continued to claim no link between cigarette smoking and cancer, despite the accumulated scientific evidence.

Politicians and so-called "think tanks" that are funded by these same corporations point to anomalies in certain data points as "evidence" that climate change isn't real. There are also the conspiracy theorists who say that climate change is a hoax — the same people, I suspect, who claim that the moon landings never happened and that the earth is flat.

Multiple studies conducted by teams of scientists who possess a legitimate expertise on this topic suggest, in fact, that the earth's climate is warming more rapidly than what was originally suspected. There is strong evidence — meaning about a 95 percent probability — that one factor in this change is the increase in the concentration of man-made greenhouse gases introduced into the atmosphere over the past 50 years. There is very little disagreement about this basic "hypothesis" among members of the scientific community who study this phenomena.

If our elected officials are afraid or unwilling to acknowledge the facts set before them, let's not kid ourselves that their ignorance is a virtue. Those politicians who continue to deny the reality of climate change by claiming "I'm not a scientist" or "The data is inconclusive" are doing this country a disservice. I suspect future generations will look back in anger at the willful disregard our elected leaders have displayed so far about this threat to national security.

Walton Wilson, Lenox Dale


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