Letter: Trust in science

Editor of the Reformer:

If I were to depend solely on my own observations, I would say that I see no evidence for climate change. It's because of my overall ignorance of the scientific observations, methods and measurements of meteorology that I'm left with some kind of belief to depend on only. Belief, however, in and of itself, is woefully inadequate to the task. But I feel I know why someone would doubt the human causes of climate change.

Most people only live day-to-day. They cannot see the increments much less accurately measure the patterns necessary to gauge the larger and therefore longer picture of human effect on our climate and environment. We can't see the forest for the trees.

Yet, in today's world too many people have the audacity to say that science doesn't know everything. It's no accident that those same people will put their faith in how true their beliefs are, than they do in the acquisition of knowledge.

Any scientist will tell you that the study of science begins with the understanding that science does not and could not know everything. That's how science begins. It is the quest for knowledge that matters, not some illusive know-it-all truth like so many people believe.

Moreover, science is the most self-correcting discipline known to all branches of knowledge. The process of self-correcting is science at its best. It's dependent on the peer-review process that evaluates scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field.

Therefore, when it comes to the vagaries of climate change, a very small minority of educated people are working very hard to understand the patterns of changing climate to help us prepare for the possibility of severe consequences.

You and I can pick any single day in winter, spring, summer or fall and wonder what the fuss is about. But if we can't learn to trust that science tries to work for our best interests, will things ever be "as right as rain" again? .

Vidda Crochetta

Brattleboro, Aug. 9


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