I hope you enjoy one of my earliest Letters to the Editor, which somewhat kick-started my public activism against scientific illiteracy. I was responding to a column written by a sociology professor at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Melvyn Fein. In his piece, Dr. Fein, like so many other global warming deniers, parading the patently incorrect notion that climate scientists are in disagreement on climate change. Below was my response. Enjoy.
DEAR EDITOR: Whether one admits it or not, we trust science. Every time we take an antibiotic, every time we step on to an airplane, every time we use an electronic device, we are confirming the success of the scientific method. Climate science is no different. It doesn’t use a different kind of physics, chemistry or biology. It doesn’t have an “alternate” scientific method one accesses via secret handshake. This is why scientifically literate people are baffled by the kind of climate science denial illustrated in Dr. Melvyn Fein’s latest “radium salesman” MDJ column.
These are the facts. The overwhelming majority of scientists who spend their entire careers studying climate — dedicated and intelligent adults from multiple disciplines working within public and private firms and institutions across the globe — agree that global temperature has increased rapidly and significantly since the industrial revolution. This is not debated within the literature. It is established. In addition, many independent lines of evidence (for conspiracy theorists, the word independent is important here) indicate that human activity is responsible for the increase.
Don’t make the mistake of conflating the political and social response to climate change, with the evidence-based reality of climate change.