Editor

In my rebuttal to Jerry Avalos’ comments regarding the letter sent by 500 alleged scientists to the Secretary General of the United Nations, I recommended that readers Google an online commentary by a different group of scientists, all of whom agreed that the conclusions of the signatories of the letter were seriously flawed.

In Mr. Avalos’ rebuttal to my rebuttal he asserted that group was not peer reviewed and that they were “one-sided.” I’ll try a different tack here, and address my comments to people who are still undecided and seeking information that can help them figure out who’s likely to be telling the most truth. Note that I say “the most,” admitting that the current bulk of climate science still has some gaps in complete understanding. This does not mean that the entire basic phenomenon of global warming and its broadly understood human causes are all false.

You may remember the blunt admission in a 1969 memo by Brown and Williamson, then a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.” That doubt worked for a while more, helping more people to stay in denial and die from tobacco-related cancers. Finally, the ugly truth became too overwhelming, and now most people don’t dispute that smoking significantly increases the incidence of lung cancer and other pathologies.

I see a strong parallel here with the fossil fuel industries pouring millions of dollars into funding various front groups with misleading names encouraging people to cling to the approach of endless, unrestricted resource extraction and an energy policy based on burning fossil fuels. Now, rather than citing a single source of information about global warming/climate change I’ll suggest simply Googling “climate change science” first. You will find loads of valid, well-researched, peer-reviewed information that supports the basic thesis of global warming. Then look up “the precautionary principle,” which in essence urges erring on the side of caution when the consequences of a misguided decision would be very serious or catastrophic.

Bruce Dunwell,

San Andreas

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