Monday, May 10, 2010

Where do I sign?

255 members of the National Academy of Science put out a statement on why scientific consensus should NOT be undermined by political or other non-scientific ideological attacks.  I don't know how much good it will do since it was published in Science and I doubt that most of the general public will ever see it (as I think most politicians will also never see it).  But, at least, if you're reading this, then you'll see it (here) and hopefully it will have some effect.  Of course, if I could add one thing, I would say, you won't do a lot for the cause of Climate Change by throwing its lot in with The Big Bang Theory, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth.  While scientists clearly see that these are well established facts, they are among the most contested by certain groups of non-scientists who have been successful in persuading a large part of the (American) population that these things are not true.  Personally, I think it would be more helpful to show that Climate Change is on par with theories the public does accept, like the Germ Theory of Disease or the Theory of Gravity (Gravitation).

Want your surgeon to use antibiotics and wash his or her hands?  Why?  I'm sure you'll be fine.  After all, Germ Theory is "just a theory".

Anyway, the letter is still solid, and I thoroughly endorse its sentiments, particularly this:
"there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:
(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact." 

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