Mr. Youds (Climate change deniers grasp at straws, Nov. 2 letter) claims there are three critical certainties: climate change is worsening, climate change is caused primarily by anthropogenic causes and there is little time to curb emissions before global disaster occurs.
There is no denying that climate is indeed changing. It always has and always will. Is it worsening (whatever that might mean) begs the questions worse than what and worse than when?
Assuming climate change is attributed to anthropogenic sources results in policy changes. But what if climate change is not the result of anthropogenic causes, but rather is the result of natural variability, all of the policy changes in the world would not halt the effects of climate change and policy implementations would have been in vain. Perhaps the more sensible route would be to focus on adaptation to possible adverse conditions.
As for the little time before global disaster, it is unclear what this means in terms of a time frame. What is clear is that there has been a hiatus in climate warming for the last decade or so.
Overall, climate model analyses tend to provide what if rather than what will be conclusions. They are projections, not predictions.
In science, there is never an unquestionable certainty. That is a major tenet of science. Science advances on the principle of scepticism. Religion, on the other hand, advances as a result of the growth of unquestionable belief. Politics advance on the growth of power. Contemporary media survives on a diet of sensationalism and fear. Politicians have a much easier time maintaining social order if they can create a society of fear. Some spokespersons of climate science have borrowed from these principles.
Tom Fletcher should be given accolades not insults for being contra to an uninformed or misinformed public opinion of impending doom.
Dr. Dennis Bray