Letter to the Editor

No climate debate

Grover BeachFebruary 17, 2014 

The “distinguished scientist” that Atascadero City Council members Roberta Fonzi and Heather Moreno chose to list in their Viewpoint, Richard Lindzen, is an interesting choice.

Lindzen is hardly what you’d call impartial: he writes for the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank that’s accepted thousands in donations from oil companies. Recently Lindzen was also a keynote speaker at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change, a group that’s collected more than $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations.

These facts are easy to verify, and you’d think these dots would be pretty easy to connect for two people who claim to be “well-educated” and “well-read.” Further, the statement that “within the field of climate science there is increasing debate about the climate sensitivity of the Earth and how much impact human-generated greenhouse gas emissions actually have,” is simply false.

Among scientists that are not shills for corporate interests, there is no “increasing debate.” Of 13,950 peer-reviewed climate articles over 21 years, 24 reject global warming. The evidence is overwhelming; there is no debate. As the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

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