To the Telegram:
Example 1: An article appears in a newspaper that reads: “Obviously, everyone knows the Sun revolves around the Earth and the stars revolve around us because we are the center of the universe. Just look for yourself. Isn’t it obvious? Scientists, who differ, obviously want to line their pockets with lucrative research grants in astrophysics and, are a bunch of deluded atheists who rely on an incomplete and unproven set of physical laws to control the philosophical climate and destroy free enterprise.”
Example two: An article in the papers claims “cancer is an unproven condition, and those who develop the symptoms attributed to it can be easily cured by the proper dose of faith and clean, healthy living. If their faith is true, they will be cured.
“Reputable doctors have blogs on the Internet that can provide positive proof that living with faith and proper nutrition can absolutely cure any illness. I know — my Uncle Joe recovered without the help of medical science because he placed his faith in God.”
How would you feel if these arguments appeared in newspapers — complete with “expert” testimony making use of “proven facts?”
Well, many newspapers have been publishing similar arguments made by climate change deniers who claim knowledge of climate science in order to validate their opinions. What they are disputing is the almost complete consensus proposed by real scientists around the world that climate change is happening and man is the primary cause. But it’s as if we trusted our cousin Ralph to perform brain surgery, because he has read an article about the topic, when truthfully, climate change deniers usually know little about science and should not be appointed as experts about global warming.
Real scientists are using their knowledge to warn us climate change is happening, and something needs to be done about it. Many of us are noticing the extremes in weather patterns that predicted by climate scientists decades ago. If their predictions hold true, it is very likely that we will continue to see weather extremes, including more and stronger tornadoes and hurricanes, periods of flood or drought, intense blizzards and longer and stronger periods of cold or heat waves.
Although scientists are the first to admit that no data represents 100 percent indisputable fact — just as we can never be sure the lottery ticket that we and 10 million others purchase will not be a winner — but the science involved is extensive and well established so we would be fools to risk everything by ignoring their recommendations.
Instead, politically motivated groups of skeptics have been establishing themselves as experts in order to dispute scientific knowledge they know very little about.
Up until now newspapers have been allowing climate deniers to make unsubstantiated claims in the interest of balanced reporting. However, as most of us watch the dramatic changes in our weather, it is increasingly apparent that real scientists should have their say too. Just as we no longer have to accept unbiased reporting that validates tobacco companies about the safety of their products, we should realize global warming deniers are not reputable sources of information.
Peter W. Johnson,