Letter: No place for 'scientific climate dogma'

With reference to the comments on climate change by Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, 29 January), there is no such thing as "scientific consensus". Science is the pursuit of truth, not consensus: consensus is not a scientific concept, it is a political one.

I am a retired chief chemist and find his claim that 98 per cent of scientists support the theory for man-made climate change astounding. I would like to see his evidence.

Unfortunately, I have come across a number of scientists who either don't follow proper, ethical procedures in their work, or are of a dogmatic nature. My examination of this topic strongly suggests that his "scientific consensus" contains too many scientist of this ilk. This can be seen by looking behind the headlines contained in all four Assessment Reports by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is one reason why there is the continuing argument-counter argument between the two camps.

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Oh, to have a legal QC brain to officially thoroughly questioning and scrutinising all claims.


Dargai Terrace


Alan Hinnrichs presumably means public opinion when he refers to a "concerted campaign" against the theory of global warming. Few thinking people now support this tenuous theory, which provides a gravy train on which those scientists and pseudo- scientists with a financial interest in global warming currently ride, having previously failed to conjure enthusiasm for the rather less exciting hole in the ozone layer story of the Eighties, which we all survived, and which has now been forgotten.


Gamekeepers Road

Kinnesswood, Kinross

Unfortunately for Alan Hinnrich's argument about peer- reviewed journals, the journal that published both Einstein's articles on relativity was not peer- reviewed at the time.

Considering that the 1905 article on special relativity carried no references and that he was not writing from any recognised scientific institution, he was lucky to be published.

Peer-reviewing can lock out revolutionary ideas.


Dovecot Loan


As a chemist, I cringed when I read Robert Veitch's gripe about "neobdynium". Pity poor neodymium, an innocuous element with pretty pink salts and the ability to alloy with iron and boron to make the ferociously powerful magnets in computer hard drives.

After misspelling its name, Veitch goes on to slander its companion in the ore mineral monazite, thorium. Not especially toxic, and with radioactivity so weak it can't penetrate the skin, thorium holds out the promise of a cleaner, safer nuclear fuel cycle than uranium. India is developing a new generation of nuclear reactors using it. If they succeed, thorium will make a substantial contribution to solving the world's energy needs.


Marina Avenue

Warrington, Cheshire

ALAN Hinnrichs claims to have a list of 1,500,000 scientists who support his view.

I only claim about 32,000 whose names and qualifications can be found under Oregon Petition. Perhaps he can tell us where to find his list.



Newton Stewart


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