Letter: Climate science displays record of accuracy

Posted10/18/2019 1:00 AM

Columnist Walter E. Williams cherry picks examples of past erroneous climate predictions, and uses this to throw doubt on all climate predictions.

This ignores the remarkable successes of modern climate science, including many accurate predictions, starting with the simplest calculations predicting warming, made in the early 1900s, through to today's highly sophisticated and widely accepted understanding of climate and our impact on it.


The fact that the last five years have been Earth's warmest on record is fully consistent with this understanding and is attributable to the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Professor Williams states that any action will hurt freedom and prosperity. By freedom, he presumably means the freedom to damage the environment and with it our well-being, including our kids and grandkids. Sorry, but there's no right to freedom from responsibility.

And reducing greenhouse gas emissions does not harm the economy. Look at the spectacular growth of renewable energy, attracting eager investors.

We do need more of this, as will be favored by well designed market-based policies in bipartisan bills now in Congress, for example H.R. 763, co-sponsored by area representatives Jan Schakowsky and Dan Lipinski. These attach to fossil fuels the cost of the damage they're doing to our climate, and thus create incentives to steer consumers and businesses away from them.

The revenues from carbon taxes are returned as a monthly payment to households, which fosters economic growth. By reducing our carbon emissions now, we can avoid large future human and financial costs from the destabilizing impacts of climate change.

Wharton Sinkler

Des Plaines

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