Letters to the Editor

Letters responding to a climate-change skeptic

For Lexington, 2018 is the wettest year since the city started keeping since1872, according to WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey.
For Lexington, 2018 is the wettest year since the city started keeping since1872, according to WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Believe the science

A recent letter writer stated he was a climate skeptic, then used the word “believe” 11 times.

Science is based upon facts, not beliefs.

Lexington with 66.97-inch rainfall year to date has now broken the record for the most rain in a given year from 1872 onwards with 4four weeks remaining in the year. That compares to our 20th century annual average of 45.17 inches a year. Five of our top 10 wettest years have occurred since 2004.

The period 1997 through 2015 represents 14 percent of the rainfall records but comprise 70 percent of the Top 10 wettest days on record. This has steadily increased for the past five decades.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that October 2018 represented the 42nd consecutive October and the 406th consecutive month with average worldwide temperatures above the 20th century average. Science says higher temperatures can hold more moisture, so the increase in annual rainfall totals is the result of a warmer climate.

Science is based upon facts, not beliefs.

Joe Crouch


The facts are apparent

In a Nov. 30 letter, a writer provided a litany of things he doesn’t believe. These include his doubts that man-made climate change has occurred and is occurring, that increasing CO2 levels affects our climate, that polar bears are endangered due to this climate change, that sea levels are rising due to warming seas, or that tropical diseases are spreading north because of warmer weather.

While he doesn’t believe these well-documented events and conditions, he avers that the resultant (non-existent) warmer weather is “happier, healthier and more prosperous” and that all this (non-existent) elevated CO2 is good for us, “absolutely necessary” for life even.

So what the writer — who is not a climate scientist, wildlife biologist, oceanographer or epidemiologist — is saying is that he doesn’t believe the empirical data derived from the diligent, peer-reviewed research of many different kinds of scientists. But if it’s true, he says, it’s good for us.

This reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke, “Life is full of misery, loneliness and suffering — and it’s all over much too soon.”

Vincent M. Cassone


Do the homework on climate

I don’t believe the climate change denier had done his homework adequately.

I don’t believe he understands the thermo-chemistry of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor. I don’t believe he understands how incoming solar radiation drives the water cycle or the carbon cycle and is impacted by greenhouse gasses.

I don’t believe he understands the astronomical, geological, biological or oceanographic analyses of past climate dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Or the nuclear chemistry analysis of Carbon 12, 13 and 14 isotopes in the atmosphere pointing directly at fossil fuel emissions.

Or in the study of ice cores taken from both Greenland and Antarctica which captured air samples of the distant past. Or, the volcanology. Or, the petroleum science on the origin of fossil fuels locking carbon out of the environment over the millions of years.

Or the separate reports (among many) by naturalists at Yellowstone and the Harvard Arboretum on the changing ranges of plants and animals. Or just plain old physics, chemistry and biology.

There is inadequate space here to present a full course on climatology. I would constructively suggest he seek out an introductory course immediately.

David Kesling