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January 29, 2013

Another View: Climate change deniers ignore proof of a rapidly heating planet

By JON C. GALE JR.

For some readers, rants arguing the validity of global climate change, like those of M.D. Harmon, serve as comic relief or irrelevant patter. Like those who argued that the Earth is flat, the numbers of people who ignore hard science and cling to their position will fade with time.

That said, Mr. Harmon publishes this stuff, and it probably still should be addressed.

Mr. Harmon ("Global warming forecasts suffer from conflicts over facts," Jan. 18) suggests that scientists and media cherry-pick data to support global climate change data, and points out, for example, that the record heat of 2012 in the United States only "amounts to 2 percent of the world's land surface."

That would matter if the rest of the world had been cooler than average. But 2012 will measure as at least the eighth warmest year globally, a figure that is not debated. In fact, the top 10 warmest years on record all occurred in the last 15.

Nonetheless, Mr. Harmon then obliviously argues that there has been a global temperature "plateau" since 1996. Well, if so, temps "plateaued" at "very hot." He fails to report the terrifying fact that for the last 333 months, not a single month has been average or below average globally. Not one. Again, this fact is not disputed by anyone.

Mr. Harmon clearly does not like the idea of the government telling him what he can and cannot do, and acknowledging man-made climate change requires conceding that we as a people must act to stop it. Even the administration of George W. Bush acknowledged that man-made climate change is happening (beginning in 2005), and we have yet to act as a nation.

That time will come, certainly, and the sooner the better, because rants like Mr. Harmon's will not change the fact that we are heating up globally, like it or not.

Jon C. Gale Jr. is a resident of Portland.





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