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No man of science

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

In his Nov. 9 column "No Climate for a Treaty," George F. Will continues his assault against reason concerning the problems of climate change. His real "clincher": How come so few hurricanes hit the United States this year? How could the world possibly be warming if that's the case, huh?

So sorry, Mr. Will. NOAA predicted this very result not long ago -- ironically, warmer oceans can lead to fewer hurricanes. And the world's oceans are, in fact, warming significantly. Given the much greater capacity for water to hold (or release) heat energy than air, what happens to the temperature of ocean water is perhaps more important than -- and a cause of -- what happens to the atmosphere. You see, this is complicated stuff; maybe Mr. Will should stick to politics.

We have been conducting an unintentional, uncontrolled and irreversible experiment for most of 200 years now by pumping greenhouse gases into the air. When we reach a full understanding of just how we sabotaged the Earth's atmosphere, you better believe that CO2 emissions will be a major, probably the primary, culprit.

Mr. Will, with absolutely no scientific training or authority (but big headlines and a lot of column space to fill), relies on the ability of politics, no matter how bad, to trump science, no matter how good. Scientific inquiry, requiring excruciatingly slow review and duplication, simply can't stand up to the political soundbite.

 

JOSEPH F. McLAUGHLIN
Shaler

 

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