Language isn't problem in climate debate

December 20, 2009

I don't know if I should be mad that a literature professor accuses me and people like me of dissembling the language in the discussions concerning global warming, its causes and effects, or if I should take it as a victory that an expert in fiction is a global warming movement supporter. Glen Scott Allen made an excellent point by defining the differences between theories and hypotheses ("Not 'just a theory,'" Dec. 16).

In continuation of his intellectual argument, let me state what we who wish to rigorously verify global warming evidence want: unfettered and open access to primary-source data used to calculate global temperatures over the last 150 years used to support the theory that Earth is warming; unfettered access to the models and data used to support the hypothesis that global warming is caused by human activities; and unfettered access to the models and data used to form hypotheses of the effects of planetary changes if Earth is warming.

As an engineer, I don't "believe in" theories or even laws. I know Newton's laws are an approximation, I know vaccinations help most people, and I know that most people can't grasp the enormity of energy transfer on a planetary scale. Human knowledge is advanced by open exchanges of information, critical thinking and the give and take of investigators and skeptics. Am I really asking for too much or attempting to mislead?Paul Spause, Hanover

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