Letters to the Editor

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CLIMATE: Alternative explanations lack agreement

Letter by Christopher E. Benum, Graham on March 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm with No Comments »
March 28, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: “Ex-professor tells senators climate data manipulated “ (TNT, 3-27).

Retired professor Don Easterbrook testified to a state Senate committee that global climate is in a cooling phase that began in 1998.

That is a new one for me. I have heard from other sources – in contrast to Easterbrook’s testimony – that we are in the warming phase of a cycle. During the 1970s and 1980s, the favored approach was to state that climate change is not happening at all.

The popular “explanation” from the 1970s appears to have been replaced by another one, which consists of making very vague references to “natural causes” without stating any causes at all. Yes, there have been very specific climate changes in the past, and they have had very specific causes, such as large asteroids or large volcanic eruptions. Vague references to “natural causes” should not be considered scientific explanations; they are really not explanations at all.

If the current change in climate is supposedly not caused by human activity, then what exactly is it being caused by?

There is a very wide, international scientific consensus that gases like carbon dioxide and methane are causing average global temperatures to increase, and that this trend is primarily caused by human activities. There is no scientific consensus whatsoever among those who deny it.

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