To The Editor:
Mr. Tayon’s letter to the editor March 5 opposing the findings of mainstream climate scientists was well written but flawed. The reader needs to know that his opinion aligns with just those 3 percent of scientists who are climate change deniers.
At www.climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus you will find the following statement that 18 American Scientific Societies agree upon:
“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver, (2009).”
The same NASA article also lists the statements from the various scientific societies. For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science says: “Based on well-established evidence, about 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening, (2014).”
Mr. Tayon bases his skeptical opinion on two accomplished professors in their field of expertise and Dennis Prager, a conservative radio show host in the Los Angeles area.
1. Now retired MIT professor Dr. Richard Lindzen has a PhD in applied mathematics and was professor for meteorology at MIT. When I searched for more information on Dr. Lindzen, I learned that his own colleagues at MIT do not agree with his views on climate change. After Dr. Lindzen had written a letter to President Trump in February 2017 urging him to withdraw from the Nov. 16, 2016, Paris Climate Agreement, his colleagues wrote their own letter to President Trump March 6, 2017. (Type into Google.com: MIT Climate Science Faculty Write Open Letter to President Trump.) They wrote “...to make it clear that this is not a view shared by us...”
Twenty-two professors of the MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans ad Climate signed this letter. I also learned that Dr. Lindzen received funds from the largest private-sector coal company in the world, Peabody Energy, before it filed for bankruptcy in 2016. He charged oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services. One of his speeches was underwritten by OPEC. He also was a speaker at conferences of various think tanks that dispute climate change. (www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Richard_S._Lindzen). The oil and coal industry for decades spent huge amounts of money on spreading misinformation about the effects of fossil fuels on our earth. You will find this information on the following website of the Union of Concerned Scientists: https://www.ucsusa.org/about/news/exxon-weighed-climate-risks-early-81-companies-mislead-public-decades-new-report-finds
2. Now retired professor of physics from Princeton University, Dr. William Happer contributed much to modern atomic physics. His research, for example, accomplished the production of polarized noble gases in large quantities which led to the magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI. Unfortunately, in regard to climate change, Dr. Happer’s opinion contradicts the research findings of 97 percent of climate scientists. His colleagues were very reluctant to talk about him. Dr. Michael Bender, emeritus professor of geoscience and climate researcher from Princeton University, says that “Dr. Happer is misreading the evidence” of climate change. (https://www. npr. org/2019/03/01/ 698073442/heres-the-white-houses-top-climate-change -skeptic)
Another Princeton colleague, Dr. Robert Socolow, who does not doubt Happer’s technical grasp of climate science, says that “everybody has areas of irrationality. The environment in general and climate change in particular are areas of Will’s irrationality...” Dr. Happer cosigned Dr. Lindzen’s letter to President Trump urging him to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. He has received funds for his work as climate change denier from the far right and from coal companies. (www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/William_Happer ad www.desmogblog.com/william-happer#s103)