My very first Letter to the Editor

In response to a post on the Hook news blog, “Pelt Michaels? Climategate includes swipe at Pat.”  I hope I don’t sound like a total goober…

I’d like to briefly respond to the Hook news blog post by Lisa Provence titled “Pelt Michaels? Climategate includes swipe at Pat.”  It was incorrectly reported here that Dr. Phil Jones resigned from his post at the University of East Anglia, when he has only stepped aside from his post as director of the Climate Research Unit while there is an investigation into the matter. The information is available on the CRU website:

I would also caution in using the word “skeptic” when describing Pat Michaels and others climate change contrarians. A skeptic, as recently defined by John Rennie of Scientific American, is one who favors “dispassionate, rational inquiry, a respect for scientific thought and a well-grounded doubt in ghosts, astrology, creationism and homeopathy.” ( It is proper to view climate change science with a healthy dose of skepticism, but the scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming is overwhelming and comes from many different sources.  The so-called CRU “scandal” will not change the scientific results from sources all over the world, but instead highlight a serious problem with scientific communication to the public and public distrust of science.

Thank you!

2 comments for “My very first Letter to the Editor

  1. December 12, 2009 at 16:15

    Well done! This is exactly the thing that the general public needs know about science research in general and climate change in particular.

    It is sad that most Americans are so uninformed about science. This allows people with political agendas to scare the public into supporting unproven and unfounded ideas.

    Of course, the co-opting of science for political reasons goes at least as far back as Socrates, so it is nothing new. Still, it is disturbing that America is so ignorant of science and the scientific method.

    I guess I should stop now or this reply will be longer than your letter!

    Again, excellent work!

  2. December 12, 2009 at 22:59

    Well done!

    This “climate change skeptic” thing is really hurting our collective image. There was a group in Canada called “Skeptics Canada” (not affiliated in anyway with our own Skeptic North), and they recently changed their name, dropping the word “skeptic” altogether….as though it was an indictment of the entire movement.

    But if Skeptics still allow AGW denialism (yes, denialism), then we deserve every bit of scorn heaped upon us. AGW denialism is the greatest embarrassment….nay, shame of the skeptic community, and we have to suss out the crazy fast.

    A letter to the editor is a great idea!

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