Scientists Challenge Climate-Change Naysayers: “As Real as Evolution and the Big Bang”


"Climate change is a theory as certain as the theory of the Earth’s age (4.5 billion years), the Big Bang Theory, and the theory of evolution."

Members of the National Academy of Sciences, in their words, have countered the "lies" and "McCarthy-like" tactics employed by climate skeptics. “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.”

This headed a list of “fundamental conclusions about climate change” provided by the National Academy of Sciences, signed by 255 prominent climate scientists, and published in Science Magazine in response to Sen. James M. Inhofe's denunciation of climate change as a “hoax,” and the increasingly politicized debate on whether human caused climate change is really occurring.

According to the letter, whose lead signer is Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif., there is no debate. "Climate change is a theory as certain as the theory of the Earth’s age (4.5 billion years), the Big Bang Theory, and the theory of evolution. Those who disagree “are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence,” the scientists write.

The letter, which was rejected by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, uses language more incendiary than is typically heard from the scientific community. In many ways it resembles the aggressive rhetoric spoken by the three-term Oklahoma Senator who likened the environmental movement to Hitler’s Third Reich in 2006, and cited “Climategate” as proof that human influenced climate change has been “debunked” in December 2009.

“We also call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association,” the letter continues, apparently referring to Sen. Inhofe’s efforts to prosecute the scientists involved in Climategate, and to the litigation put forth by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccineli to subpoena a University of Virginia climate scientist under scrutiny for defrauding taxpayers.

“Society has two choices,” conclude the 255 signatories. “We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.”

Jason McManus


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