Climate change is not a matter of opinion

Jeff Jacoby’s assertion that climate science is incomplete (“Climate science far from settled,” Opinion, March 14) is deeply misleading and a disservice to Boston Globe readers. Don’t be distracted by his long list of conditions that affect climate. These are well known and included by climate scientists in their analyses.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was correct on a single point: Measuring with precision the effect of human activity on climate is very challenging. However, both Pruitt and Jacoby stubbornly refuse to recognize that climate scientists actually did this more than two decades ago. Thousands of climate scientists studying the causes of observed warming have found nothing to refute overwhelming evidence that carbon dioxide — from burning fossil fuels and changes in land use — is the primary cause of recent climate change. The US National Academy of Sciences and NASA have both affirmed the validity of this science.


As an opinion columnist, Jacoby might wish to opine on whether or not the US should address climate change and how to do so, but when it comes to science, opinion should never be equated with evidence. Unfortunately, Jacoby once again recklessly crosses this line and ignores a substantial body of evidence that has been carefully researched and validated.

James J. McCarthy


The writer is a professor of oceanography at Harvard University.

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