Letter: Beware climate change deniers
Re “Beware climate catastrophe charlatans” (Monitor Forum, Aug. 24):
Michael Sununu engages in an extreme case of “shoot the messenger” in his argument against climate models. When I studied experimental particle physics in the early 1980s, I made extensive use of computer models to simulate particle collisions. Climate scientists’ use of models today parallels my use of models then. In the ’80s our models could not answer all our questions about particle physics, just like climate models cannot answer all our questions about weather and climate today. They were good enough, however, and the science we conducted then has withstood the test of time, just as climate models will 30 years from now.
However, if he can’t abide computerized climate models as accurate predictors of future climate, perhaps he will accept the tried and true approach: comparisons to the past based on data collection and analysis. Such studies show that the last time atmospheric CO2 concentration was 400 ppm (as it is now), sea level was 30 feet higher, the planet was 3.6 to 5.4 F degrees warmer, and the Pacific Ocean was probably locked in a permanent El Nino. And that’s just for starters, since we show no signs of slowing CO2 emissions growth. Unfortunately for us, climate change deniers and the industries that make their money from the status quo suffer from a blindness that prevents them from accepting that our continued reliance on fossil fuels is completely and utterly unsustainable. All of mankind is suffering for it.
(The writer is Northeast regional coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby.)