In Response to: The Influence of Science

Published online July 6, 2017

William J. Jones ’57 is right about one thing in his short dissertation of disinformation about climate change (Inbox, April 26). Yes, scientific theories should not be adopted by popular vote. However, in the case of global warming, it is not so much an argument about the numbers of scientists who subscribe to the theory, as it is the lack of facts to support the denialist position.

That the Earth is warming is indisputable. Polar ice, glaciers, coral reefs, sea-level rise, all show effects visible to scientist and layperson alike. Is mankind causing it? It is not rocket science. The amount of CO2, known to be a greenhouse gas, was stable at below 290 parts per million for the first 10,000 years of modern human civilization until the late 1700s. It began to increase concurrent with industrialization and massive land clearance in the New World and now stands at 400 ppm, higher than it has been for 2 million years.

The complex dynamics between the Earth’s orbit and inclination to the sun have been studied for centuries. Surely Mr. Jones does not believe that scientists have overlooked them. In fact, they have been factored in from the outset, and currently should have been making the Earth cooler.

It is not rocket science. The warming is mainly caused by a near doubling of atmospheric CO2. The increase is mainly caused by the activities of man. There is a very simple cause and effect here. Baffling with BS does not negate it. If we continue on our mad course, we might not doom our grandchildren to a savage world, but forget about their grandchildren’s progeny.

Bentley Orrick ’59
Millington, Md.