Oct. 17 Letter: Walter Williams’ straw-man argument – Daily Press

Argument fails

RE: “Ignore portents of doom,” Walter Williams Op-ed, Oct. 12

Mr. Williams argues against taking action to alleviate global warming by attempting to discredit the supporting science. However, all he’s doing is trotting out a list of predictions that went wrong. Apparently he ran out of incorrect climate change predictions, so to populate his list, he added others that have nothing to do with the issue. Even some of the climate-related predictions he cites are weak in support of his claims.

Advertisement

Williams is using a straw-man argument. In any large-scale scientific endeavor, it’s not hard to find individual examples of outlier opinions, inaccuracy or even dishonesty, no matter how good the overall science. If he wants to argue against knee-jerk reactions to sensational headlines, that’s fine, but instead his last paragraph condemns the entire field of global warming research without consideration of the evidence accumulated over many years, evidence that virtually all climate scientists say overwhelmingly indicates a problem that will have catastrophic consequences. Mr. Williams’ arguments provide no support for his conclusions that Americans are gullible and that the money spent to counter climate change will be wasted.

Bruce Cotton

Newport News

Letters to the editor about the Nov. 5 election will be accepted through Oct. 25, and published through Oct. 30, space permitting.