A letter from a reader: Scientific consensus can be wrong
The July 18 letter by Ric Merritt '74 states: "... today's scientific consensus that climate is warming due largely to human activities." I would like to remind Mr. Merritt that science does not work by consensus. For many years the consensus was that the world was flat, and later that the earth was the center of the universe. Plate tectonics was scoffed at by the consensus until Princeton Professor Harry Hess *31 showed by seafloor spreading that the theory was indeed correct. Scientific truth emerges as the facts emerge, not by popular opinion.
While carbon dioxide may play a minor role, there is an ever-growing body of evidence that the major driving force of global warming is the cyclic variation of solar output. In time, the true facts will overshadow the questionable computer simulations and models that don't fit the data. Then the politically motivated carbon crisis will be seen for the scam that it is. Until that time, "voting" on the correct answer is not overly productive.
WILLIAM C. RIDGWAY '57
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