Scientists risk job loss if they dare speak truth

Thank you for daring to publish counter points to unfounded claims regarding global warming (Feb. 21). In this reader’s opinion, global warming issues have been greatly overstated. Is it some grand conspiracy? Only in that politicians, scientists, and the media act in their own self interest, promoting public fears to gain votes, research dollars, and more viewers.

Thankfully, scientists with integrity still exist and are willing to risk censure and job security to speak the truth. An excellent book on this subject is “Climate of Extremes” by Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling Jr. In addition to expanding on the topics that Mr. Dukes mentions in his A.M. Costa Rica article, Michaels and Balling include many graphs showing how the “cherry picking” of historical data can dramatically alter the appearance of so-called “facts.”

One example from the book showing how altered data exaggerates and misleads can be found at the following link. The altered data was used in the prominent and widely cited “Third Assessment Report” on climate change published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, and has since become a poster child for global warming enthusiasts. A link to the report is also included on this page:

Michaels and Balling do not deny global warming. They completely agree this is happening. They just say it is neither unusual nor alarming. So what’s the solution? Michaels and Balling recommend opening the scientific peer review process. If the major journals posted all submitted articles and peer reviews to the Internet, along with all of the author’s names, it would go a long way toward preventing exaggerated claims.

It occurs to me that this is only one part of the solution, and the rest is up to each of us. There still remain the problems of news media and politicians who abuse science to inflate and conflate issues, and public willingness to accept misleading information disguised as fact.

The truth was so inconvenient for Al Gore that he ignored it completely. For this he received a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. Why do we continue to let him and others get away with this?

In the Internet age, it’s up to each of us to discriminate between fact and fiction. If we, at the community and national levels, refuse to support politicians that use negative campaign tactics and stick to this, within two or three election cycles things would begin to change. In addition, if we stopped supporting publications and television stations that misrepresent the facts, eventually they would change their tune. Until we can begin to do this consistently, we will continue to be subjected to the whims of manipulators.

Chris Cobb
Hills of Portalón

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