Posted by: ericgrimsrud | February 4, 2015

A letter to the Daily Inter Lake

The Daily Inter Lake is the main newspaper of Kalispell, Montana. where I recently lived for several years. While there I noted that the DIL’s editor, Frank Miele, did as much as he could to undermine regional efforts to combat man-caused global warming.  Nevertheless, while I lived there Editor Meile published many of my letters to the editor in which I objected to various stances taken on his opinion page.  Since moving to the neighboring state of Washington, I have continued to read Montana newspapers including the DIL.  Now, however, my responses to what Editor Meile prints no longer seem to be welcomed in his newspaper.  Therefore, I will post my most recent one here.  The brief story it relates applies to many other newspapers, I suspect, of the distinctly conservative persuasion and, therefore, should be of general interest.

Hi Frank,

I noted Thomas Sowell’s column and the cartoon you picked to go with it in your Feb 3 issue of the Daily Inter Lake and must reprimand both of you for indulging in this scientific misrepresentation.  For the benefit of others, that column and cartoon can be seen at  http://eeditions.shoom.com/doc/daily-inter-lake/03feb15dil/2015020301/#4 .

In that column and cartoon, the question is asked “if we could not more accurately predict the magnitude of the recent storm in NYC, how can we predict the climate change we might experience 100 years from now?” Really, Frank, haven’t you learned the answer to that one yet?  While I suspect that you are just playing stupid for the financial welfare of the fossil fuel boys of Montana, here we go again – having to explain the obvious in order to ensure that the public sees through your deception.  

If you understood just a bit about “weather” versus “climate”, you would know that local weather is very much more difficult to predict than long-term  global average climate changes. Local weather prediction is done via the science of  meteorology  which requires complex models in order to include the multitude of variables involved.  Its object  is to predict how the existing heat of the Earth is spread via its atmosphere and oceans. Because of its great complexity, the weather expected even tomorrow at any given location is often in large error.

The science of global climate change, however, concerns changes in the total heat content of the Earth over time and this is largely determined by only three relatively well-understood variables. These are:  the solar flux at our position in our solar system, the albedo (refection of incoming sunlight) and the insulating effect of the greenhouse gases and clouds. Of these three variables, the last one listed has changed remarkably over the Industrial Age due primarily to large increases in carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere. By tying weather uncertainty to that of energy balance, I think you and Mr. Sowell are being intentionally devious –  I find it difficult to believe that you don’t know better.

Thus, I suspect that the intent of your cartoon and Mr. Sowell’s article was simply to spread “doubt” concerning our scientist’s ability to predict the detrimental effects of long-term global warming by your inappropriate use of the large uncertainties associated with weather predictions.  The “info” Sowell provided only concerned the recent storm in the NE and from that you naughty boys suggested that long-term predictions of global warming are suspect!  

Frank,  neither of us is so stupid as to not know what’s going on here, but one of us is sufficiently devious as to allow it to go forward.  How long must the issue of global warming be on the front pages of our newspapers before the Editors stop publishing and promoting the most worn-out and infantile  misrepresentations of  it?

Eric


Responses

  1. Comparing a one day weather event vs. predicting climate change 100 years from now? The fun is in the stupidity. No letter-to-the-editor needed.

  2. Eric; This is off of the topic you are presenting now but this shows that there are real scientist in the world doing real scientific work to benefit the planet and not just harping on an unproven hypotheses about “Climate Change”.
    One of the more interesting things that I have looked at in a long time.
     https://www.youtube.com/embed/qGGabrorRS8?rel=0

    The same demonstration.
    “Man invents machine to convert plastic into oil”


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