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Letter to editor: Lowry column was dishonest


Once again I am called to take exception to a Rich Lowry editorial. I was alerted by the title but was still appalled by the dishonest subterfuge of the piece.

As usual, he starts with a reasonable assertion that science (used without quotes) is “a pillar of modern life”. Then he asserts that “science” (in quotes) is being treated as dogma i.e.“is not open to counterarguments...but insists on only one answer to complicated or ambiguous questions” and “aims to achieve cherished political goals”. Here is the hypocritical pivot of the article. It turns out that the distinction between science – the pillar of modern life and “science” - “that is a blight on 21st century American life” is precisely based on Rich’s politics.

He chooses as his poster child for “science” gone wrong the current flap over gas cook stoves. He goes on with a very cogent criticism of why the gas stove saga is bad science compounded by bad media coverage. He infers that this will lead to banning gas cook stoves (gasp). I will not try to defend the cook stove “science”. I have had gas cook stoves my entire ife except when in a rental. I hate electric stoves.

My objection is to the way he takes his points made re the cook stove fiasco, and applies them to serious matters concerning global warming and the pandemic response. He accuses people who insist we do something about global warming (e.g reduce carbon emissions) and people who have tried to address the COVID pandemic (e.g wear masks) of “ignoring the facts” (CO2 levels at 420ppm, over 1 million dead Americans). If he were to honestly apply the criteria of valid scientific inquiry he used to criticize the cook stove case to the more serious issues, rather than play rhetorical bait and switch, we would see science working to save us rather than “science” playing politics.

James DeFelice, Richmond Hill

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