The heat over leaked e-mails from climate-change scientists

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I take issue with the Nov. 25 editorial "Climate of denial" on two points.

First, the use of the term "climate-change deniers" implies that people such as myself are not only wrong but are somehow evil or deranged in a fashion similar to Holocaust deniers. The Holocaust is a historical fact. While you and many others seem to be equally certain that global warming is a fact, many well-regarded scientists disagree or are uncertain.

Second, you accused climate-change skeptics of "misinterpreting" e-mails by climate scientists or taking them "out of context" and concluded that the e-mails do not undermine "the scientific consensus." Yet the e-mails revealed that the supposed experts are aggressively trying to prevent serious scientific debate and, more important, to avoid release of their basic data, even to the point of destroying the information.

The very essence of science is a reasoned and open debate over verifiable data. If one side is unwilling to submit its data to peer review, and is actively squelching debate, that calls into question the reliability of its conclusions, as there would otherwise be no reason to fear a debate. Mankind may indeed be warming the globe, but these internal communications make me even more skeptical than I was before.

Jon T. Hoffman, Springfield

--

There is a very robust consensus among the world's scientists that humans are altering the Earth's climate. Climate change is already disrupting our global environment, and further increases in greenhouse gas emissions will lead to increasingly greater disruption. The world's governments are at the cusp of a crucial conference on the issue that is to occur in Copenhagen.

Unfortunately some have engaged in a smear campaign to distract the public and forestall progress. As reported by The Post, they have stolen thousands of scientists' personal e-mails, including some of mine, and have mined the e-mails for words or phrases whose meaning can easily be distorted. For people interested in what scientists and the science are actually saying, http://RealClimate.org is hosting a conversation on what the context of these e-mails really is.

Michael E. Mann, Boalsburg, Pa.


CONTINUED     1        >

More Climate Change News

Green | Science. Policy. Living

Green: Science. Policy. Living.

News, features, and opinions on environmental policy, the science of climate change, and tools to live a green life.

In the Greenhouse

Special Report

The Post's series on the science behind climate change.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity