2011-09-21 01:05:22Climate Change: Science vs. Skepticism
John Hartz
John Hartz

Perhaps John Cook should draft an op-ed on this topic and submit it to the NY Times?

PS -- Americans love the Aussie accent.

NY Times, Sep 19, 2011

Climate Change: Science vs. Skepticism

To the Editor:

Re “Is It Weird Enough Yet?,” by Thomas L. Friedman (column, Sept. 14):

I agree strongly that “we need to take steps to mitigate climate change — just in case Governor Perry is wrong.”

The French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal, in what has become known as Pascal’s wager, suggested that even people who did not believe in God should act as if they did, since being wrong could be catastrophic.

I would say to the climate skeptics: If you do not believe in climate change but act as if you did, even if you are right, the result would be a society with clean, sustainable jobs, less dependence on Mideast oil and healthier lives. But if you are wrong and we do not act immediately, the results would be catastrophic.

Montville, N.J., Sept. 14, 2011

To the Editor:

Thomas L. Friedman is obviously correct to point out that Gov. Rick Perry’s and Representative Michele Bachmann’s views on climate change are wrong. But it’s clear that they won’t have their minds changed simply by showing them more scientific data or by explaining to them that 97 percent of the most published climate researchers — the group of people on the planet most knowledgeable about the subject — agree that human activities are causing rapid climate change.

The problem is that their denial of reality is a byproduct of a culture that marginalizes the scientific method as a way of thinking and promotes faith as a virtue, even if it is in direct opposition to the facts. Changing their minds about climate change will take more than presenting the evidence for it. It will require a seismic shift in the way they choose to understand reality.

Toronto, Sept. 15, 2011

To the Editor:

Like many people, I don’t know if the climate is actually changing or, if it is, whether or not it is caused by carbon emissions, agricultural practices, solar activity or even cow flatulence. I do know, though, that like most people who want to breathe clean air and have a healthy planet, I strongly support realistic, comprehensible and well-enforced regulations that will protect our environment without stifling economic growth.

I think it is called common sense.

McKeesport, Pa., Sept. 14, 2011

To the Editor:

Thomas L. Friedman claims there is dispositive scientific proof of climate change. The fires in Texas are a result of droughts, caused by the hottest Texas summer on record, which was caused by climate change, which was caused by manmade carbon emissions.

There’s just one little problem. The previous temperature record was set in 1934. This raises the question, if hot weather and droughts today are a result of climate change caused by increased manmade carbon emissions, what were the hot weather and droughts (remember the Dust Bowl?) in 1934 caused by? Maybe the science isn’t so irrefutable.

Redwood City, Calif., Sept. 14, 2011

To the Editor:

Thomas L. Friedman suggests that Representative Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry are crazy for denying the existence of global warming. They’re not crazy; they are ideologues. After all, it’s nearly impossible to deny that the planet is warming. The only real debate is whether global warming is caused by humans.

Mr. Friedman says America needs to implement a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming. I agree, but now is not the time for that regulation. For the 14 million Americans who are currently unemployed, Washington has one job and that’s getting American workers back to work. Increased environmental regulation would only add to the uncertainty of economic conditions, discouraging corporate investment in job creation.

Eau Claire, Wis., Sept. 14, 2011

To the Editor:

I can’t help but note that politicians like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, who demand absolute scientific proof that climate change is real, are the same ones who treat as undisputed fact the assumption that tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs for the unemployed.

Madison, Wis., Sept. 14, 2011