Michael Segor: Trust the climate scientists | TheUnion.com

Michael Segor: Trust the climate scientists

Jim Driver’s “Human caused global warming is irrefutable?” (Oct. 23) is premised on a common misunderstanding.

To say that a model can be “used only as a guide to possible future events” dangerously understates how vital models are to future planning, as though we are free to disregard them without consequences. We take the model that predicts where a hurricane will make landfall pretty seriously.

Climate models contain the best and most up-to-date understanding of how the climate works, and they keep getting better all the time. An abundance of observational data overwhelmingly confirms what the models have been predicting: that unprecedented weather events are becoming more common each year.

Climate scientists are the only people with the training to measure, record, and interpret the changing patterns in the atmosphere and oceans. Disregard their work, and we throw away the only reliable information we have.

Because the costs of our complacency will fall on our grandchildren, we have the responsibility to go to the scientists themselves and not let their important message be garbled by talk show hosts and political spinners.

The AAAS’s “What We Know” is a good introduction for non-scientists to this fascinating subject.

Michael Segor

San Luis Obispo

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