Wesleyan University’s Gary Yohe has it exactly backwards — but what would you expect from an “environmental studies” professor?
Yohe writes in the Providence Journal:
Steve Goreham’s Aug. 5 Commentary piece (“Why the climate models of global warming are wrong”) offered a wrong diagnosis and a wrong prescription on how to respond to climate change.
Climate models show us the planet’s long-term response to more heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels. They may miss some short-term changes, which critics often point to, but they are on the mark regarding long-term warming and the risks we face from it. We know more warming — and more coastal flooding and heat waves — is on the way thanks to the heat-trapping emissions we’ve already put into the atmosphere. It’s also clear that continuing on a business-as-usual path would lock us into even higher levels of warming. But dramatically and swiftly lowering emissions would decrease the effects of climate change.
No climate model is perfect, but all are immensely useful in projecting possible futures since we do not have the luxury of another Earth on which to experiment. Similarly, the Federal Reserve uses economic models to inform how it sets interest rates, even though those models of our economic system are imperfect, too.
We are already dealing with climate change as a risk management problem, and that is good. Local and state governments in the Northeast are adapting and many are reducing emissions.
Most importantly, though, the burden of proof should be on contrarians like Goreham. Unless they can prove unequivocally that climate change presents no risk, we cannot prudently take responding to those risks off of the table.
Gary W. Yohe Middletown, Conn.
The writer is Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University.
In science, a hypothesis needs to be affirmatively demonstrated via the scientific method. Warmists claim science proves their hypothesis. Therefore, the burden is on them. Attempting to disprove their hypothesis is akin to proving a negative, which is impossible.