Scientists aren’t spin doctors on climate

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Your editorial “Hedging on global warming” (Comment & Analysis, Monday) on science adviser John Holdren’s suggestion that “climate disruption” more accurately reflects the consequences of overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, ignored science and history.

You claimed that scientists and environmentalists embraced the term “climate change” because global temperatures were going down. In reality, the past 10 years have constituted the hottest decade in the modern temperature record. Further, a 2003 messaging memo from consultant Frank Luntz advised the George W. Bush administration, ” ‘Climate change’ is less frightening than ‘global warming’ … climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.” Mr. Bush’s administration heeded Mr. Luntz’s advice as it sought to undermine progress on policies that would reduce heat-trapping emissions.

It’s ideological opponents of addressing climate change who are guilty of spin, not scientists. Your editorial board should stick to the ideological reasons you oppose emissions reductions.


Press secretary

Union of Concerned Scientists


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