Denialist Debunked

A particularly insidious phenomenon today is the one-issue website with a political agenda. Such is the International Climate Science Coalition.

This is the charge of Tom Harris, a mechanical engineer and global-warming skeptic. A letter from Mr. Harris (“Learn to adapt to climate change,” Nov. 20) quoted from a recent report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, two different organizations, to make the case that cyclones like the one that hit the Philippines recently are not occurring more or less frequently than in the past. The first of these panels is a mainstream scientific organization and the second is dedicated to blocking action on climate change.

The bottom line in Mr. Harris’ letter is his leap from the alleged weakness of the case for increased storm intensity to the conclusion that the only solution to climate change is for us to adapt to it. This non-sequitur is not surprising considering the bias behind it. We ought to adapt to all sorts of disasters, man-made or not, but that does not rule out that we should do something to mitigate the changes that we have caused. We should reduce the production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel, which is responsible for the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide that has occurred since reliable measurements began more than a century ago.

A version of this appeared in the Nov 21 Issue of the Albany Times Union. I have corrected it to reflect Mr. Harris’ complaint that he was not the founder of the ICSC.

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2 thoughts on “Denialist Debunked

  1. Dans le même esprit que les vôtres, voici mes voeux pour une année 2014 riche de découvertes, de partages et de sagesse. Et peut-être, nous nous rencontrons avec nos conjoints un jour de 2014 en Normandie. Pourquoi pas ?

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