At first, I thought geologist Jim Classen (Sept. 11 letter) would have something of value to add to climate change discussion. After all, we expect a “scientist” to be scientific.
Then I read his counter to the theory that “the increase of 120 ppm ... since 1750 is causing global warming: I don’t think so.” No science to support his assertion, nothing but his fallacious appeal to authority (“I’m a scientist, you’re not, so I must be right”).
Classen is denying the greenhouse effect, discovered in 1824 by Fournier. Tyndall (1859) established that “coal gas” (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, and Arrhenius (1896) calculated that rising atmospheric CO2 would raise global temperatures. This is all well-settled science that has remained settled for well over a century. An “I don’t think so” from an oil and gas industry geologist (Classen) does not change that.
Classen doesn’t even get the “units” right (a major science faux pas) when he summarizes the recent climate consensus analysis. It’s not 97 percent of “scientists,” it’s 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate papers published in established science journals. He’s not even part of the other 3 percent, since he’s not published any peer-reviewed climate papers. Just anti-science, denialist letters.
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Jim Severson, Boise