Climate change not a guess

Former Maple Ridge MLA challenges News columnist's views

Editor, The News:

Re: Big game of global warming (B.C. Views, Nov. 12).

I see Tom Fletcher has launched another diatribe against the reality of global warming and climate change

It appears that Mr. Fletcher believes he is better informed on the subject than the many scientists who actually work on the issue.

I can only conclude that Mr. Fletcher is profoundly misinformed about how the scientific method actually works.

When scientists wish to study something that they have questions about, they start by forming an hypothesis regarding the matter at hand.

For example, they may hypothesize that the earth’s climate is warming.

The next step scientists take is to gather evidence by taking measurements.

They will then conclude that, based on the evidence, their hypothesis has merit or does not have merit.

However, if they conclude that their hypothesis has merit, they do not get to publish their evidence in a reputable journal.

In order to publish their study, scientists must submit their finding to a committee of their peers; other scientists who are equally knowledgeable of the field of endeavor the scientists are investigating.

It is important to know whether or not the works of scientists have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

If not, one cannot give the study merit.

Scientific peers may or may not agree on the findings of a given study. But, if the paper is accepted, it signifies that they agree that the writers have done their measurements properly, have tested their hypothesis correctly and have arrived at conclusions that are tenable.

Science is not guesswork.

The vast majority of peer-reviewed climate scientists have concluded that our climate is warming, that our large areas of ice are melting at an accelerated rate and that our oceans have become more acidic as a result of a greater concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Why would Mr. Fletcher, who is not a climatologist, who has never published any peer reviewed papers on the subject, that I’m aware of, know more about the state of the earth’s climate than the scientists who are climatologists, who have studied the subject exhaustively and who have published peer reviewed papers on the subject?

Since it’s clear that peer reviewed climate scientists know more about climate change than the rest of us, what are these scientists doing, lying to us?

To embrace that notion is to get into the world of the truly wacky.

Whatever reason would there be for climate scientists to lie to us about the state of the earth’s climate?

There is no reason.

But, unfortunately the Tom Fletcher’s of the world will go on telling people that the scientists are wrong and they’re right.

If they’re right, show us the real evidence.

Get educated on the subject, go out and do the hard work of gathering actual data and get it accepted in a peer-reviewed journal.

Then we can talk.

Otherwise, their hot air is just so much ado about nothing.

Michael Sather

Maple Ridge