Here's a message for President Obama: If scientists ever reveal a threat to life on the planet, say a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth, get someone else to make the announcement. Otherwise a third of the nation's population will immediately convince itself that you've concocted a hoax and oppose any constructive response.
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That's what happened when President Clinton's point man on science and technology, Vice President Al Gore, found that climate scientists were concerned about global warming. Now we've got virtually the entire Republican Party aligned against credible scientific findings and eager to promote spurious alternative views ginned up by conservative think tanks.
One such alternative view was the subject of a recent letter on this page. The writer proclaimed that a survey of scientists revealed that most did not really believe in human-caused climate change. The writer did not reveal that the source of the survey, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, mixes heavy doses of politics with its research, including a home-schooling package offering an alternative to â€œsocialism in education.â€