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Monday, January 31, 2011

Dr. Andrew Dessler's letter to the Wall Street Journal, unpublished, concerning their idiotic and irresponsible lack of informing their readers of the truth about global warming

from Scott Mandia's blog "Global Warming --- Man or Myth?" January 30, 2011
Dr. A. J. Dessler wrote a letter to the WSJ pointing out the irony of coverage of climate change science which he has allowed me to post here. The letter was not published by WSJ:
Your Editorial, “The Autism Hoax,” Jan 8-9, 2011, highlights the failure of the medical scientific community to quickly put down an errant 1998 publication in The Lancet that blamed childhood vaccines for a coincident rise in diagnoses of autism. An explanation for this extended time for resolution can be offered by considering a parallel with what is happening with the present scientific findings on global warming. The Editorial states, “Researchers have all the while continued to churn out studies disproving the vaccine-autism link,” but nothing much happened for a decade. Similarly the atmospheric science community continues to “churn out studies” proving that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are largely responsible for global warming. Professional scientific organizations have collected, condensed, and synthesized these studies to estimate a range of climate consequences that can be expected.
However, the media, sensationalizing the inevitable contrary work by a negligible minority of the qualified scientific community, has caused doubt to pervade public perception. It is perhaps puzzling that statements on global warming by, for example, the American Academy of Sciences, American Meteorological Society, and America Physical Society, have not dominated media reporting. But the media usually gives roughly equal weight to the skeptical ideas of a small number of qualified scientists. As in the vaccine-autism debate, this has inflated the ideas of only a few to produce conflict in public thinking. It is important that the media not exaggerate skeptical ideas of a few individuals over the considered work of many hundreds of qualified researchers, lest the vaccine-autism circus be repeated.
A.J. Dessler holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University and is presently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University.

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