Letter: McClaughry's climate-change denial argument is weak

Posted
Editor of the Reformer:

John McClaughry's recent commentary piece ("That really scary climate report" in the Dec. 6 issue) was one of the worst pieces of climate-change denial sophistry I've recently encountered.

In attempting to rebut a serious, credible, and dire report about man-made climate change, McClaughry makes a number of odd points. First, he critiques the report's grammar (it uses passive constructions. Shock! Horror!). Then he assails the report's "projections" (as if not predicting the future with perfect accuracy is a failure). Next he offers a bewildering argument in favor of climate change (by his logic, if a hot shower feels good on a cold day, dousing ourselves in boiling water would be even nicer).

McClaughry's critiques are so odd because he wants to distract us from noticing the profound weakness of his position (and that the funders of his institute, and thus his paycheck, include climate-change denial groups linked to the Koch brothers).

The one thing he barely does is engage with science. He cites a single scientist by name. That's telling. There actually is no debate on this topic. The overwhelming conclusion of all the scientists in the world who study this issue is that climate change is real, man-made, and much worse than previously understood.

It's beyond disappointing that the Reformer would publish this piece. What's next? An examination of whether the Earth is actually flat?

Sam Costello

Marlboro, Dec. 6


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