The recent letter regarding climate change from a group of physicians practicing in our area adds little of value to the debate on this controversial subject. None of the natural disasters they list has ever been definitively linked to global warming, aka climate change, largely because there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 17 years.
This lack of warming has persisted in spite of atmospheric CO2 levels rising to record levels, which would seem to sever the cause-effect relationship between the two. Since the proposed CO2 emission limits from existing coal-powered plants, if passed, will surely result in loss of jobs, physicians in coal country should recognize the perversity of advocating for a false approach to disease prevention, hypothetical global warming, which will lead to increased job loss among their patients.
Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has toned down its apocalyptic rhetoric in its most recent report.
Physicians have a special responsibility to understand and comment on complex scientific issues, and to avoid the hysterical ravings of agenda-driven extremists, in this case the Luddites of the environmental left. We must be guided always by best scientific thought and principles, especially when addressing our patients.