DEAR DR. FOX: A few moments ago I read your recent article in which you included an exchange with “PH, Ph.D.” from Seattle. As a theoretical particle and nuclear physicist with a strong background in experimental techniques and many years of experience in environmental monitoring, I support your assessment of climate science. – Dr Robert I. Price, class of 1979, Arizona State University

DEAR DR. FOX: I don’t have any climate expertise, since I’m a retired journalist / editor whose work (over fifty years) has been read by hundreds of millions of North Americans, and my job was to not believing anything that was not supported by empirical data. facts. There is no doubt that we are experiencing global warming, but I am not in any way convinced that the root cause is man-made.

Now, that doesn’t mean the artificial theory is wrong. Frankly I do not know. However, I found that around 1972 (only about 50 years ago), leading climatologists around the world agreed that we were heading towards an ice age soon, that it would be caused by the man, and that by the year 2000 we would likely be in a global hunger disaster. It has received headlines all over the Western world by television stations and by newspapers such as the New York Times and The Times of London. Newsweek posted a spooky cover story on this. They all cited top climatologists and university scientists in US, UK, Australia, etc. Basically the same noble titles now say our global warming is man-made. So how could these people have been so wrong then and so RIGHT now?

The answer is lazy journalists and media. They should have asked, “You are the experts in this science, but when did you become mediums?”

Show me something you posted 25 years ago that predicts what’s happening now. You seem to know what 2050 will bring, so why didn’t you know 25 years ago? – IC, Boca Raton, Florida

DEAR DR. FOX: I really like your column, and I’m writing, as a geologist with 40 years of experience, in response to your recent thread on climate change.

Proof that human activity is the driving force behind current climate trends is indisputable. Being impartial towards dogmatic ideas is the hallmark of good research and pushes the boundaries of the unknown. However, holding diametrically opposed views on unambiguous issues in the name of “balance” or “tolerance” is a mistake scientists are prone to make – a mistake that gives the fringe a platform. from which to continue their dangerous efforts of disinformation and disinformation.

Airtime equals legitimacy. This is probably why the previous reports of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) did not have the urgency of the most recent. Climatologists have passed the stage of politeness. – DH, Ph.D., Tulsa, Oklahoma

DEAR RIP, IC and DH: I appreciate your communications. Some scientists, for various reasons – in particular for issues of career “tenure” aligned with corporate interests – refuse to accept peer-reviewed scientific reports and the scientific community’s consensus on the climate. current and extinction / biodiversity loss crises.

This was previously the case with the documented risks of DDT and other pesticides, and with the addictive and carcinogenic consequences of tobacco. I wrote and testified that the “greenhouse effect” of carbon dioxide and other gas emissions would lead to global warming no less than 30 years ago! Opponents came mainly from the fossil fuel industry and had essentially bastardized the scientific method.

Here is the definition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary of the scientific method: “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data by observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses ”. The biological and physical sciences, often related to ethics, economics and mathematics, are based on objectivity. And like justice, they are impartial. Otherwise, self-interest, ideologies and other prejudices would distort the interpretation and application of scientific findings.

Unfortunately, material, industrial, military and other interests as well as aligned investors, politicians and regulators have too often failed to consider the ethics and consequences of their decisions. Otherwise, many of the problems we face today – especially in industrial agriculture, the medical industry, and the veterinary services – would not exist.

When science speaks the truth to power and exposes the lies, deception, and delusions of the status quo and “progress,” we see the anti-science backlash from political opposition and business, as with the inaction of the Trump administration regarding the climate crisis and the botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Science can help us build a sustainable and healthy “circular” economy rather than an extractive and polluting one. Generating safer alternative energy sources rather than burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and not relying on hydropower from environmentally dangerous dams (and now unpredictable precipitation) are survival initiatives that all of them. nations must continue. The production by the fossil fuel industry of plastics – which is soon expected to massively exceed the weight of fish in the oceans – and toxic petrochemicals – linked to cancer, immune and endocrine system dysfunctions, sterility, malformations congenital and neurological problems – must stop for the common good and the good of the commons.

Send all mail to [email protected] or Dr Michael Fox at Andrews McMeel Syndication Care, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments from The general interest will be discussed in the next columns.