Saturday, November 24, 2007

Letter to the editor: there is no debate on climate change

Sir,

Robert O'Sullivan complains complains that the "save the planet" squadron only
quote from scientific sources with which they agree. He himself does
not quote from any scientific source, the best he can manage is a
quote from Homer Simpson.

What else can he do? The only explanation for climate change that has
stood up to scrutiny is that it is caused by man-made emissions of
greenhouse gases. It's a pretty simple. Greenhouse gases trap the heat
of the sun and humanity is pumping out greenhouse gases like never
before, while at the same time slashing and burning the forests that
might have soaked them up.

If you do the calculations based on what have burnt and what the Earth
can absorb, it all fits with what we observe in reality.

The few other explanations that have any scientific basis at all have
been debunked.

Every now and then someone puts forward a new possible cause,
frequently with much media coverage. Then over the course of a few
months the results are analysed, mistakes are found and the idea is
put to rest. Of course the debunking never gets the same news
coverage.

There have been "natural" climate changes in the past but this time
around we have a smoking gun and a bullet wound - declaring it to be
"natural causes" would require some extraordinary evidence and that
evidence simply has not been found,
Update: Published without my reference to the media's lack of interest in debunking theories and some other minor tweaks. Update: Another round, although I don't think he actually read my letter!
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