Only a fool denies huge and growing body of evidence

Cobble Hill – You can doubt if human-caused climate change is real, but you should wonder why almost every independent organization of scientists in the world, including 20 national academies of science, have issued statements that the most likely cause of observed climate change over the last 100 years is human greenhouse gas emissions.

You must question the science, because science is about questions. If the answers were clear and obvious no science would be undertaken.

But you need to understand that the uncertainty around climate change becomes more like the uncertainty around evolution each year, in that scientists believe it to be real, while uncertainty remains regarding local effects, timing and intensity.

You may wonder why you still hear of scientists and publications that refute the theory of climate change.

But you need to know that of the hundreds of legitimate, practising climate scientists and thousands of peer reviewed scientific publications only a fraction (less than 10 per cent) refute the theory of human induced climate change.

You can deny, but surely you see that the world around you is changing quickly.

Terrible flooding in England, history’s worst tornado in the Philippines, record drought in California, glaciers disappearing, arctic melting, sea level rising, forests dying and species extinctions.

We don’t question the science of gravity, but its working is a theory whose mechanisms are not completely understood.

We trust the science that makes our modern world work through electron theory, even though no one has ever seen an electron and much yet remains a mystery.

We wear a seat belt and avoid exposure to carcinogens because science tells us these actions may benefit us in the long run, yet we resist employing this precautionary principal when faced with choices that may greatly harm the future of our children and grandchildren in spite of what science tells us.

You can hope the theories are wrong, or that a scientific miracle will save the day.

But if you were in a boat with your family and nine out of 10 sailors were telling you the boat was sinking and your feet were getting wet, would it not be wise to start bailing and paddling for shore and strongly encourage others to do the same, while you hope for landfall or rescue? Only a fool would believe everything he was told, but what would you call a person who will not believe a huge and growing body of science and evidence, a person who seeks the counsel of those who profit from the status quo, a person willing to play Russian roulette with the lives of our grandchildren? Don’t get me wrong. I know that I am part of the problem. I drive trucks and operate machines, I use electricity and burn diesel, but I refuse to let this reality prevent me from trying to be part of the solution. A solution that may still be within our reach if only we would all push for the changes science tells us we need to make.

David Slade

Cobble Hill