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Web Letter

This is an excellent summary of the tempest in the teapot (inflated to hurricane) of the CRU email issue. I am very sorry that this flap has wasted so much of the limited time we appear to have to deal with the real and pressing predicament of climate change.

Predictably, the trolls of the denialist sort jumped in to repeat their easily (and frequently) debunked claims about how this is just a plot for world domination cooked up by these (1) rich and evil scientists or (2) Al Gore or (3) the Bilderberg group or (4) all of the above. Alternatively, they claim that all the thousands of scientists studying this over the last 150 years have somehow overlooked some obvious flaw in their logic or alternative explanation for things that they (the commenter) have discovered--but (for some reason) have not published their discovery anywhere but in a blog comment.

These are not honest skeptics who simply have not spent the time needed to understand a complex topic. They are doctrinaire fanatics who refuse to actually read the scientific literature (which refutes their claims) and are properly called "denialists".

We must take the science seriously and ignore the trolls. The physics and chemistry don't care what our politics are and that is what is driving the changes in the climate. At this point in the process it may actually be too late to put off the really disastrous effects of climate change, but we may be able to make things a bit less bad. We must move on this. If (by some miracle) the earth doesn't continue to warm, our efforts won't have been in vain. We'll have addressed many other issues (energy use, pollution, transportation) in the process of dealing with climate and it will have been worth the trouble in any event.

Michael O'Hara

Hudson, NY

Apr 22 2010 - 10:26pm

Web Letter

Perhaps this debate should not be about whether climate change is occurring -- the evidence (though debatable) seems solid enough. And, the fact is, it would not be an unusual occurrence in the Earth's long history for climate to vary.

The real debate should be about why?

The scientific community has multiple theories as to why, and no theory is universally accepted as fact.

Yet popular media and our politicians all have become experts and declared that carbon emissions from human activity is the reason for climate change.

This is, at best, a great leap of faith and belief in one disputed theory. At worse, it is propaganda used as a convenient excuse for a "carbon tax" that can be used to simply tax the very air we breathe.

I would ask the writer to review his excellent headline "Climategate Claptrap" and satisfy himself that science believes that only human activity is the reason for climate change, and that the scientific community has dismissed solar, tectonic and natural cycles that may also be to blame for climate change.

Otherwise, in my opinion, the writer is simply repeating the climategate claptrap of those who stand to profit by promoting their narrow and unproven point of view that human activity is the primary cause of climate change, and that climate change can also be reversed by... human activity.

Michael Duclos

New York, NY

Apr 18 2010 - 11:22pm

Web Letter

I wish the right-wing deniers would deny away cancer, diabetes and heart disease. I mean, let's face it, the health food and medical industry is making a money hand over fist spreading the whole "health eating/exercise" mythology.

Ben Schilke

Philadelphia, PA

Apr 18 2010 - 4:11pm

Web Letter

What bunk. Bad stats are bad stats, and the stats used for AGW are bad, to say the least

Human-caused global warming may turn out to have actually been caused by a typo.

Finland has gone from Hot to Frigid in the posted data. When the world weather groups were reporting above-average temperatures in Finland and the Finns were reporting below-average temperatures, it was found that there was:

1. increasing trend in the percentage of world airports used to compute temperature averages over time, and

2. increasing trend in the percentage of airports changing to a new system of reporting air temperatures over time.

The new system looks to be more susceptible to user input error. The new system uses "M" to denote a negative temperature. Forget and use "-" instead of "M", and the temperature is reported as a positive.

Error will be more prone to affect the measurement of the colder climes. If it does not ever go below "0," never a chance to forget and not add an "M" or a "-."

Error will much more pronounced relating to colder climes, as +/- 1 in mild climes versus +/-50 in colder climes swings the error quite a bit more.

So the AGW data shows an increase in the temperature over time, mainly in the colder climes... Hmm. . For more detail, see "GISS & METAR--dial “M” for missing minus signs: it's worse than we thought," by Anthony Watts.

Ed Forbes

Fresno, CA

Apr 18 2010 - 1:48pm

Web Letter

There is no such thing as "130 times less." If you are going to write about science, you might want to learn the nomenclature.

The comparison to Tobbaccogate is silly. No one except a few fools ever believed that inhaling smoke on a regular basis was not harmful.

Don Nevin

Woodbury, NY

Apr 18 2010 - 11:59am