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TahoeBlue

To propose injecting sulfuric oxide into the atmosphere, when so much effort and cost has historically been expended to eliminate the acid rain caused by sulfur emissions, patently shows the misguided developments and consequences that climate change alarmism can produce.

When you say "climate change looks increasingly unstoppable", you have encapsulated your beliefs into an ironic Moebius strip type of assertion. Climate has always been changing, with high and low extremes long before humans cultivated cattle or began using fossil fuels. Climate change is unstoppable in the sense that the dynamic and complex system of the Earth and its climate is beyond the direct control of humans.

I suspect that I am not going to affect your *beliefs* about 'global warming' in the space of a short paragraph -- that is perhaps for another day, when and if time and willingness would support an open and objective discussion. Hopefully your allegiance and support of truly objective and scientific principles will allow you to re-examine some of your assumptions, or at least reconsider the subject.

But suffice to say that to entertain pumping acid-rain-generating pollutants into the atmosphere to somehow 'geoengineer' away a 'problem' that is still a hypothesis and not a proven causal relationship by any stretch clearly reflects the real downside of climate change alarmism.

Chris Mooney

They're not "beliefs" about global warming. I've reported for many years on the science and am thoroughly aware of scientists' state of understanding and their confidence in their conclusions. Humans are causing global warming through greenhouse gas emissions and it is happening now. That's not a belief--it's a report on the state of scientific understanding.

TahoeBlue

I realize that you have reported on the climate change debate in the past. For example, in your column in The Nation last year, "Unpopular Science", you present your thoughts on climate change in the course of describing the attrition in the state of science journalism in the mainstream media.

In that column, you write well about the important topic of science journalism, and the unfortunate waning of resources and qualified talent devoted to conveying popular understanding and assessments of topics grounded in science.

However, you do err in one significant instance: you have chosen to take a political, and not a scientific, stance vis-a-vis the controversial topic of 'global warming'.

The system of the Earth's climate is about as complex a dynamic system that one could imagine, and there is no simple field of "climate science", as the phenomenon involves so many scientific disciplines that it would take experts from a dozen or more fields to even begin to have a comprehensive investigation of the subject.

When you support "consensus" as a basis for scientific legitimacy, you are abandoning the principles of science, which above all relies upon demonstrable and incontrovertible evidence in the observed and observable universe to support a theory, however elegant and or intriguing a theory may be.

I mention this not merely to raise the specter of 'unable to be proven' simply to counter the hypothesis of 'global warming' -- even though it is quite true that the theory in question -- that amplified negative feedback in the Earth's climate brought about by increased levels of CO2 will cause exponential and catastrophic changes in the state of the Earth in mere decades -- is still completely unproven, and, for decades to come, unprovable.

Rather, I of course agree that studying the climate of the Earth is a very important topic of scientific investigation and study -- just that computer models (and selective statistical graphics) do not a demonstrable proof make.

You are quite right to consider climate change theories. Where you cross the line is to deride and ridicule the legitimate efforts of scientists to debate, discuss, and yes, to disagree with the theory of imminent and dire climate change caused solely by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere contributed to by human activity.

When you write "The mass media, however, ...(bowing to pressure from special interests and their pet scientists, who strategically attacked the scientific consensus)" you are adopting the belief system, not the science, of those who would defend the theory simply by attacking those who disagree.

Science is not about 'consensus', nor something to be voted on by a majority. Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein -- these scientists were the opposite of 'consensus' -- they were stand-alone radicals who bucked the 'consensus' of the day.

Your own un-scientific bias is further revealed when you characterize Anthony Watts challenges to "mainstream understanding of climate change" as a "misinformation machine".

A misinformation machine ?? Come now.

That is not objective science journalism -- you are clearly showing what you have come to believe. It is certainly fine for you to have adopted the opinions and views of your choosing -- each and every one of us has that right. But when your reporting on the topic indicates your choice by clearly dismissing the analysis of one side of the debate as being somehow illegitimate, you are no longer a science journalist -- as difficult a fence as that is to ride with regards to this subject in particular.

It is perhaps natural that you might see challenges to a theory that you have chosen to personally accept to be some kind of hypocritical propaganda motivated by other-than-scientific factors. However, you unnecessarily and unfairly smear honest science by doing so and seek to adopt the mantle of 'science judge' when you, as a journalist, can make such pronouncements regarding this scientific debate.

Although you may not see it, *believing* in a 'global warming consensus' is a stone's throw from other culturally-propagated beliefs, many of which advanced and adamantly argued by the likes of conspiracy theorists in a number of facets of life.

I would urge you, as a science journalist, to not have such a closed mind (and condescending attitude) when it comes to the legitimate debate over theories of climate change. Even though your adopted position might be thought to be 'popular', your treatment of the subject detracts from the many other areas in which your analysis and commentary are quite valid and valuable.

I would be more than willing to discuss the subject with you further should it be of interest.

But, again to the specific point: how on Earth can you think that the notion of pumping acid-rain-inducing sulfur oxide into the atmosphere can in any way be a proposal that is reasonable to consider ?

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