Don’t cherry-pick or ignore climate change data that doesn’t fit your worldview (letter)
July 17, 2018
What is it with the Vail Daily and climate change? In the space of less than two weeks, you have carried two columns that misrepresent the science and, also, with the recent piece by Butch Mazzuca, public attitudes on the subject ("Thirty years of 'global warming' panic," Cal Thomas, Sunday, July 1; "Hoist by their own petard?" Butch Mazzuca, Thursday, July 12).
On the science facts, please refer to my letter published on July 8 ("Facts matter; on climate change they are clear")!
On public attitudes … these are not "in free-fall in the minds if American voters," as Butch asserts. He also refers to an unnamed "pundit" who "recently joked, the subject of climate change is becoming a blaring car alarm no one pays any attention."
Rather than take these unsubstantiated, throwaway comments at face value, I would encourage folks to check out the Yale Program on Climate Change, which regularly surveys public opinion on this issue. It shows, indeed has shown consistently over the last decade, that climate change is either extremely, very or somewhat important to 6 in 10 Americans, 63 percent in the 2018 survey, to be exact. (The low was 55 percent in 2013.)
I agree that open and honest discussion on this topic is important. But that won't happen if people cherry-pick or ignore data that doesn't fit their worldview.
On the subject of a better-informed public debate, here is a key point to make: Per the Yale survey: "only about 1 in 7 Americans (15 percent) understand that nearly all climate change scientists (more than 90 percent) have concluded that human-caused global warming is happening." Like Butch, I don't agree with a lot of things Nancy Pelosi says myself. But when she said, "the science is settled" on this topic, she got at least one thing right.
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