26 May 2008 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Our Endpoint on good old chemistry sets and overall education strikes a chord with one reader. And another takes issue with a statement on global warming and human causation
Your Endpoint in the May 12, 2008 issue called "Edumacation 101" struck a chord with me. You may feel you have a problem in the US, but it is nothing compared with the UK.
The real answer is to get children interested in science and chemistry at a very early age. I loved my chemistry set as a youngster, but these days, unless it comes over the internet or is taught at junior school, we have little chance.
With this in mind, my company commissioned a study mainly with junior school teachers and chemists to put together a website that gets our children interested at an early age. Please take a look at www.chemicroc.com. It is now widely used in UK schools for 5-10 year olds and is completely free.
Mike Smith, chairman, Norkem Holdings, Cheshire, UK
GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTICS NOT CREDIBLE
In the March 3, 2008, issue, the article entitled "Stampede to climate change legislation," says in part: "The stampede to climate control legislation is happening despite growing skepticism among an increasing number of scientists about the human role in global warming."
This is a serious and important misstatement. In fact, the opposite is true.
In the largest peer-reviewed study of this subject to date, written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it was concluded that humans are causing climate change. This group represents a large and growing consensus among scientists who are true experts on climate science.
From my investigation of the source of the information reported, the "increasing number of scientists" represents a specific, non-climate-expert recruitment effort by a poorly credentialed group of skeptics.
I hope that you will correct this error to set the record straight.
Roger Shamel, president, Consulting Resources, Lexington, Massachusetts, US
RESPONSE FROM THE AUTHOR
With respect to my friend Roger Shamel's views on global warming and the question of human causation, it is apparent from the identities of the many esteemed scientists with opposing views that it is simply inaccurate to say that the scientific debate is over.
There are many who have legitimate questions about the anthropogenic argument and wholly valid concerns about the heavy hand of US Congress and the potential harm that could be wrought by the unintended consequences of draconian, if well-meaning, legislative remedies.
Those on the anthropogenic side of the global warming debate cannot on one hand hail support from some in industry - DuPont, GE and others - and yet on the other hand completely dismiss the reservations of scientific sources who urge caution and further study.
If solutions were so obvious, we would not need legislatures, nor representative democracy.
Joe Kamalick, chief correspondent, the Americas, ICIS news, Washington, D.C.
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