News your connection to The Boston Globe

The writer's target was mainstream climate science

JAMES M. TAYLOR'S "Hollywood's fake take on global warming" (op ed, June 1) is mostly nonsense. His real target is not the easily assailed climate-disaster movie, but mainstream climate science. In ridiculing "the supposed evidence of global warming," though, Taylor gets the science wrong again and again. His characterization of the computer models used to study the climate is wildly off base. His claim that surface temperature readings do not show a warming trend when corrected for urban heat-island effects is false.

His assertion that satellite measurements show no global warming trend is also false. And his comments about sea-level rise and ice caps are profoundly misleading.

The 17,000 signatures on the scientists' petition cited by Taylor as rejecting global warming theory were mostly collected in 1998 with the help of a basically fraudulent review article on climate science circulated with the petition that was written by nonexperts, and was not peer-reviewed, but was formatted to look like a publication of the National Academy of Sciences. The effort was denounced by the academy.

Taylor's tagline says he is managing editor of "Environment & Climate News." Readers might want to know that this is a publication of the ultra-conservative, antiregulation Heartland Institute, where Taylor works. Not surprisingly, he has no discernible qualifications in science. According to the Heartland Website, he is a lawyer who has focused on "constitutional protections of private property," and "protecting conservative/libertarian values in our nation's legal system."

The quest for balance on the op-ed page is admirable, but in giving this ideologue a forum to fulminate about climate science, the Globe has scraped the bottom of the barrel.

Department of Earth
and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months