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Letter: Fact that scientists agree is indeed very significant

Fact that scientists agree is indeed very significant

A recent letter contained several misconceptions and confusing ideas. First of all, it is not true that “hundreds of years ago” 100 percent of scientists believed the Earth was flat. In fact, Eratosthenes was able to measure the circumference of the Earth in 240 B.C. with surprising accuracy. Educated people accepted this fact and it was well-known long before Columbus made his voyage.

Secondly, carbon dating does not give us information about the age of the Earth. It is only accurate for about 50,000 years, and is mainly used to date artifacts such as human remains in historical time. The main radioactive dating methods used to show the age of the Earth are uranium-lead and strontium-rubidium. These are not significantly affected by volcanic or tectonic events. The various radiometric dating techniques agree on an age of the Earth of about 4.6 billion years. To say that we “cannot properly date the planet or offer any hypothesis worthy of discussion” is absolutely false.

To say that global warming has been a “money and power grab for governments and businesses” is ridiculous when one considers the money and power controlled by the fossil fuel industries. Exxon and the other petroleum giant corporations have known for a long time that their products are a major cause of global warming, but they chose to conceal that fact because they knew widespread adoption of solar and wind technologies would hurt their bottom line.

The fact that the overwhelming majority of the scientific community are in agreement about global climate change is indeed a very significant fact. The modern sophisticated methods used by these scientists are very impressive. Any arguments against their findings cannot stand up to any scrutiny. As Al Gore told us, it is “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Janet B. Zehr

Buffalo

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