Krauthammer ignores reality of climate change

After reading Charles Krauthammer’s recent op-ed, “Settled science is a myth,” one has to wonder about the real intentions of the writer other than to take a gratuitous swipe at the president. Krauthammer’s entire poorly developed premise seems to be that since science can never really be considered to be settled on a particular topic, we should avoid drawing conclusions from the data at hand. He accuses President Obama of being a “propagandist” for stating that the debate over climate change is settled. Notice that Obama did not say that the science of climate change is settled, only that the fact of climate change is settled, thus rendering the basis of the column completely frivolous.

The fact of the existence of climate change is as widely accepted among credible scientists as is the fact of the existence of gravity, or evolution, or the germ theory of disease; in part because climate change is inevitable on any geologically active celestial body.

Just because we do not fully understand all of the effects of gravity and its role in the ultimate fate of the universe, it does not follow that we should therefore deny its existence. Consider the folly of questioning the “fact” of gravity as you peer down over the ledge of a 30-story building. Similarly, based on increasingly irrefutable evidence, we should accept that climate change is real and strive to understand how we are going to deal with the consequences.

Contrary to Krauthammer’s absurd accusation that scientists religiously claim to know exactly what the effects of climate change will be, any reputable scientist will admit that there are still too many unknowns to make such bold proclamations. We can, however, begin to form accurate predictions based on the numerous impacts that we are already observing.

Brian Hourigan