Science consensus on global warming? Yes

Originally published as a letter to the editor on June 10th 2017 in The Day.

The column, “Scientific consensus? We’ve heard that before,” (June 6), by Cal Thomas scoffs at science, the scientific process, and progressives, while ignoring the downgrading of science by the Trump administration. Thomas says that scientists who disagree with climate change are excluded from publishing. He seems to not fully understand the peer-reviewed process of scientific journals: a paper must pass scrutiny in terms of sound data, robust models, logic, and supportable conclusions. If a paper doesn’t pass these tests – it isn’t published.

Second, he says scientists are proved wrong in several examples. The scientific process is one of making an observation, collecting data to measure, formulating a hypothesis to explain it, and testing the hypothesis to predict it. From this conclusions are drawn that best explain the observations. Do things change? Yes. Scientists know this – that’s called learning. We’ve done much learning since the 1970s. And now we have measured increasing temperatures over decades. The data tell us the Earth is warming. That’s a fact – it’s not predicted, it’s measured. To ignore it and to misrepresent the scientific process is a serious misstep, especially as we move to protect future generations from the calamities that occur during climate change events.

Roger Kuhns
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, state coordinator for Connecticut