Samuel Settle's demand for an external investigation of Professor Michael Mann in his Feb. 19 letter is misguided at best and disingenuous at worst. His claim that Penn State faculty would be somehow biased in Mann's favor is absurd. As people whose academic reputation is inextricably tied to that of the university they serve, Penn State faculty members would have a stronger incentive than anyone to ensure Mann's research is valid. Also, nothing in the e-mails suggests that Mann did anything wrong, but even if he did, it would not change that the last several years have been some of the hottest on record and that carbon dioxide and many other emissions are proven greenhouse gases.
In reality, this whole episode that has been ridiculously dubbed "Climategate" is part of a sinister right-wing plot to serve those who profit from fossil fuels. While we should be debating what to do about global warming, people like Settle are scheming to cast doubt on the very existence of anthropogenic climate change. A recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that more than 95 percent of climatologists actively publishing on climate change believe that humans play a role. Among those who best understand the issue, Settle will find few allies. We must not let those in denial of reality prevent us from taking action against what may prove to be one of the greatest threats facing mankind.
freshman-anthropology and political science