The Daily News has suffered an unfortunate run of letters from climate science deniers in the last few months.

Hopefully this is because these writers don’t understand the process of science. Science is the same regardless of the discipline. I am a scientist in the plant and microbial sciences and our process is the same as that in the atmospheric sciences, medical sciences or any other scientific discipline.

Scientists write grant-funding proposals which are reviewed and considered for funding by their peers. These peers are other scientists with appropriate credentials, such as advanced degrees in the subject matter from accredited institutions, with numerous funded projects and peer-reviewed publications to their credit.

Once the scientists have received funding and performed the research, they then attempt to publish it in peer-reviewed journals. These are journals that have editors with the appropriate credentials who send the proposed publication out for review by other scientists with similar credentials.

The whole process is extremely rigorous and competitive. If the applicant claims anything that is not substantiated by rigorous, peer-reviewed, published research, the grant proposal or publication is likely to be rejected. Thus, any claim from deniers alleging climate scientists are making up their results on climate change just to get funding is ludicrous.

As described above, there is zero chance the system would allow this.

People who claim our climate science is wrong, while at the same time accepting our medical science to keep them healthy and alive, accepting the physical sciences by using their automobiles, cellphones, computers, jet planes etc., and accepting agricultural science by eating food from the grocery store, are at best ignorant or at worst quite dishonest.

If they live in our modern society (and not in a cave somewhere) and use all the wonderful things modern science brings us, they cannot honestly single out climate science for rejection – even if they don’t like its conclusions.

“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” This is from NASA — you know — the same U.S. agency that put two men on the moon way back in 1969? Or maybe that’s in question also?

Actually, one poll does find that one in 20 people don’t believe that we put men on the moon. Maybe that is the lesson here; no matter what the evidence, you will never convince more than 95 percent of the people of anything. It’s unfortunate that in deadly serious matters such as climate change, the 5 percent can be so noisy. However, I’m sticking with NASA.

Unfortunately, the climate science conclusions are getting grimmer and grimmer. Scientists are a very conservative bunch. They don’t like controversy and they want to be absolutely certain before making a claim.

However this has led to them being overly cautious — in that their climate models have typically underestimated the rate at which climate change proceeds as a result of human greenhouse gas pollution. (

One example is that sea levels have risen 80 percent more in recent years than Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predictions. Furthermore, a recent review of the climate change literature concludes there is a very real chance human civilization will collapse as early as 2050 due to runaway climate change (

At that time my kids will be in their 50s — this should be the prime of their lives.

We are in a climate emergency and we need to start acting like it. Even if our federal government won’t acknowledge the emergency, other governmental bodies and we — the 95 percent of us — as individuals, must.

As Moscow nears the fruition of its goal of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, we must make a new commitment along the lines of at least a 50 percent reduction by 2030. On an individual level, I hear all the time, “I’m not buying an electric vehicle because I don’t really need a new car.” If your car burns petroleum fuel — spewing 20 pounds of CO2 into the air for every gallon burned — you need a new car — period. How old will your children or granchildren be in 2050?

Al Poplawsky, a University of Idaho research specialist, is active in the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition and the local Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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