• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 6 comments on US Senator Addresses Politics of Climate Change

  1. As a scientist I am deeply concerned that academics are pushing this agenda. Statistically significant results prove nothing but rather merely compel us to reject the null hypothesis. But what is worse, is that the NIH has recently gone on recording recognizing the much of the peer reviewed published data cannot even be reproduced! Moreover, the “government” has recently removed the limit on cholesterol consumption after years of telling us to avoid eating too many eggs! And yet, we still have academic scientists who should know better getting in bed with politicians to push this hot button politically charged agenda.

    1. NIH is quite critical on reproducibility of research, but never cited climate change specifically. Irreproducible data is found in all fields of research so to state that some climate change research is irreproducible without giving a number is like saying the sky is blue. Since you are a scientist I assume you have witnessed NIH research expanding the frontiers of science in your own field as it has done in environmental science. If you spend some time looking at peer reviewed climate change articles in an objective lens, you will find that much of the data proving anthropogenic climate change has been reproduced by multiple research groups around the world already. Some research is done to reject the null hypothesis, but you are ignoring the vast majority of peer reviewed climate change research if you claim nothing further has been proven. I am glad to hear that the United States is moving to join the rest of the world in a debate of how to address anthropogenic climate change, rather than continue a debate over a fact.

      1. “Some research is done to reject the null hypothesis, but you are ignoring the vast majority of peer reviewed climate change research if you claim nothing further has been proven.”

        The only thing that has been “proven” by your comment is my point. When we reject the null hypothesis it does not mean that we accept the alternative as proving the a priori hypothesis. Rather it means the significant difference we have observed “suggests” that there is a relationship between the independent and dependent variables that cannot be explained by normal variance in the dependent variable. Again real scientists like myself do not walk around saying their significant findings prove anything because they know better. In fact, every reputable scientific paper tempers the interpretation of findings by citing the limitations of the study which range from sample size, to human error and investigator bias.

        1. Your argument can be used to play the devil’s advocate for any scientific consensus, so I wonder what your opinions are on past politically charged agendas such as the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. I trust that as a scientist you have read the literature concerning anthropogenic climate change and if your conclusion remains that the findings are inconclusive, then I can say no more. I merely challenge the notion that science can only reject the null hypothesis because if we never acted upon alternative hypotheses in science that were strongly inferred by empirical evidence, then what’s the point? Suggesting an alternative hypothesis that is supported by evidence is just as essential to science as rejecting the null hypothesis.

  2. I’m with Trump on this. No record of global warming for the last 16 years. No cities under water. Kilimanjaro has snow. Polar bears are doing quite well. Nothing Gore had predicted has come to pass.

    Another tax, and who benefits? Probably companies like Solyndra , who make major donations to the left, before disappearing with the rest of the loan in bankruptcy. This does not go to making ‘your’ vehicle more efficient, or insulating ‘your’ house.

    Sheldon want’s to go after “deniers” like me with RICO laws. That’s right the fossil-fuel industry, and its supporters have been misleading the public,and he thinks racketeering laws should apply, much as it has with tobacco products.

    The truth is that we cannot, even with our destroyed industrial base, exist without fossil fuel.

    1. What if I said in the last 6 months I have felt healthier, more quick witted, and more flexible? Does that mean I have just proven that my body is resistant to the natural aging process? Of course not. The point I’m trying to make is your frame of reference is too small. Don’t listen to Gore, do your own objective research (i.e. don’t use political sites/don’t only try to find research supporting your claim), and don’t read about conspiracies before you read about facts. You will find your answer there.

      By the way, you can still be concerned about the economic and logistical consequences of ending the fossil fuel industry while acknowledging that humans are the major contributor to global warming.

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