Stop dumbing down climate change science

IN response to the letters The Hunts Post has been publishing in relation to climate change, I would like to express my deepest concern.

As a scientist, I have many years of experience of scientific study and a in-depth insight into how science is conducted and scientific progress is achieved. The key mechanism for scientific advancement is the publication and sharing of evidence for or against particular theories in the peer-reviewed academic literature.

This process is the most objective way of establishing scientific truth and strict criteria are applied to allow only evidence-based conclusions to be published. All of your previous correspondents have raised the issue of evidence, but no one has bothered to define what constitutes ‘evidence’ or has bothered to find out whether there is indeed scientific evidence reported in the international body of peer reviewed literature. If they had done, they would have discovered that of 13,950 articles containing the keyword phrases ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’ and published between January 1 1991, and November 9, 2012, a total of only 24 (that is less than 0.2 per cent) rejected global warming or argued that something other than CO2 emissions was causing observed warming – see JL Powell’s Science and Global Warming Study and Clear, Objective, Methodology (

Powell’s study followed that of Oreskes (Science, 2005) who found 928 articles on “global climate change” with none of those rejecting human-caused global warming. Please do not dumb down your readers by publishing opinion pieces that claim scientific truth one way or the other on an issue as serious as human-induced climate change without recognising the complete balance of the scientific evidence base.

This scientific evidence base leaves less than 0.2 per cent doubt about human-induced climate change and every single one of your readers should look at their own lives and responsibilities towards the global community in this light.


Lecturer in physical geography

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Fitzwilliam College