While I will defend a person’s right to publicly express an opinion, I take issue with the Portland Press Herald’s printing of David W. Knudsen’s Feb. 14 letter, “Human race will adapt to slowly changing climate.”

Knudsen asserts blatantly scientifically inaccurate statements about climate change, our collective role in influencing climate and the rate at which our current climate change is happening and is expected to progress.

Naomi Oreskes, Harvard historian of science and co-author of “Merchants of Doubt,” cites the power of the words of the skeptic.

In his letter, Knudsen uses the phrases “There is unfounded speculation,” “There is very little likelihood” and “There is not likely to be any sudden change” as his tools of choice.

All of these are consistent with Oreskes’ documentation of persuasive and inaccurate arguments that uninformed skeptics have historically used against movements to inform people against the dangers of DDT, tobacco and nuclear accidents.

Without any scientific validity, claims such as Knudsen’s are dangerously effective in creating an argument where one isn’t warranted and without citing any scientific research to support his claims.

Equally irresponsible would be to print letters downplaying the dangers of Ebola in West Africa, carbon monoxide poisoning and driving under the influence.

None of these risks is debatable, and while the long-term nature of climate makes absolute predictions impossible, climate change is and will continue to be the greatest threat to our collective well-being. As such, the science deserves the same respect afforded to equally obvious real-time dangers.

Kirk M. Niese

Pownal