Warming up

A letter in the winter 2008 issue denies that forcing students to accept the hypothesis of human involvement in global warming is a restriction of academic freedom.

It cites the vast number of scientific journal articles concerned with global warming, and notes that not a single one of them denies human cause. I do not know the source for these numbers, but if they are accurate, then they would seem to indicate a systemic bias. Nevertheless, some members of the scientific community do question the validity of the human involvement hypothesis.

The letter also compares the student who questions the human involvement hypothesis with the geography student who believes in a flat Earth and a geocentric universe. There are several reasons for rejecting such a comparison — not the least its oversimplification of history.

Science progresses through reasoned conflict. If one side of an argument seeks to silence dissent, then the community ceases to move toward the truth. We should be especially wary of forcing a hasty consensus regarding the global warming issue.

Michael L. Ortiz (’02)


Comparing skeptics of global warming with flat Earth proponents demonstrates a retreat from rational thought and free inquiry. When I attended North Texas, I was hearing about the coming ice age and global food crisis.

There’s a difference between considering the ecological impact of pollution and projects like building dams and extrapolating that global warming must therefore be manmade. Contrary to popular opinion, the extent to which our climate change is man-caused is not certain. The significance of changes in solar activity is one factor that rarely gets due attention in the media.

There are sound scientific papers on the subject that do not appear in the popular “peer-reviewed scientific journals” because of bias. The problem is that there are too many agendas at stake to put all causes in perspective.

The tactic for dealing with “inconvenient truths” has always been to ridicule and dismiss them.

Duane L. Burgess (’77)
Edmond, Okla.


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