Letter to the Editor

Established science

Arroyo GrandeFebruary 13, 2014 

OK. It’s climate change denial debunking time. Again. Roberta Fonzi and Heather Moreno (Viewpoint, Feb. 6) claim science is never “settled,” so let’s just say that when approximately 95 percent of climate scientists agree global climate change is strongly influenced by human activity, we will call it “established” science.

I agree that “when scientific debate by public policy makers is curtailed by ridicule or intimidation, both science and freedom are put at risk,” but there is nothing “dogmatic” (their term) about refusing to give serious consideration to, or base public policy decisions on, views shared by an extremely small minority of climate scientists. One such, Richard Lindzen, whose views were cited in the Viewpoint, is now retired. He has been called a very smart man whose opinions on climate change have been “wrongest the longest.” Most, if not all, of his claims have been soundly refuted by peer review.

Yes, Louis Pasteur (also cited) was ridiculed at the time for his germ theory, and if the current peer review system had then existed, 95 percent or more of qualified scientists would have agreed with him.

The difference between Lindzen and Pasteur is Pasteur was right. His theory could be called “established” science.

Fonzi and Moreno are correct to insist that “proponents prove their case before public policies are put into place.” The proof is in. Let’s move on.

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