Thursday, May 13, 2010

Science Speaks

And I say it's about time. (Of course, I also say it'll make no difference at all to the thought-challenged among us.) In response to the overwrought and underthought rhetoric that passes for legitimate discussion nowadays, two-hundred-fifty scientists have written a succinct and clear statement about what science is, and, in particular, the facts as currently established about climate change. Appearing in one of the world's most highly regarded scientific publications, Science (in which my brilliant niece has placed several papers), the statement says, in part:

We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. [...]

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. [...] But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of "well-established theories" and are often spoken of as "facts."

[...] Climate change now falls into this category... [...]

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. [...]

But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:

(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

(ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

(iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

(iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

(v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

You'd think (or hope, anyway) such a statement would be unnecessary. But as this product of our education system shows (and I don't think he's even Texan), it's only gonna get worse.


  1. Sigh... I see the cramp in your "Everyone who Doesn't Believe in Global Warming is an Idiot" muscle is better...
    Maybe your right, its gonna be close to 90 in the A-T-L today.
    But wait, in Tierra del Fuego Chilie its only gonna be 42(F) with a low of 32(F) explain THAT, Dr. Science!
    In complete Sentences, showing all your work, and not using "Bush" or "Teabaggers" in your answer.

    Gotta turn the AC lower,


  2. ITs WINTER??
    Might wanta check your Calendar Prion-Breath, last time I checked, May 13th is smack in the middle of Spring. I know, I know, the fact that the President(Peace be upon Him) had to leave the Global Warming Summit early because Reagan-National was gonna be closed by an approaching Blizzard just PROVES Global Warmings really happenin...
    And what was the temperature where you live on May 13, 1710??? OK, I know you were just a kid back then, but the point is, noone knows, cause the only people around were a bunch of Indians, who despite being able to detect approaching trains by putting an ear to the ground, never got around to inventing the Thermometer...
    and have you ever actually tried to read "Science"??? Its AWFUL, with a capital "Awf"...
    Frank, "I just shoveled 3 feet of Global Warming off my driveway" Drackman

  3. Your niece has a kickass CV. You should be as proud as you evidently are. And give her a lot of support as she navigates the tenure track. That is not a relaxing process, even for the best.


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