John Balentine in his column “Help Gov. Janet save the planet” finds humor in the global warming that increasingly disrupts climate systems and is getting steadily worse. How does he do it? From the time I started reading peer-reviewed climate science in the mid-’90s and attended the 1997 Kyoto Convention in Japan, I have found it difficult to turn the suffering and losses caused by climate change into a laughing matter. Calls to action are not usually comical. I am guessing that if I was alive in the mid-14th century, I probably would have found it hard to joke about the bubonic plague. I would suggest that Balentine keeps making lists of what each of us can do to make our economy more energy efficient. Over time he may move from the absurd to the merely far-fetched and eventually to offering positive and useful suggestions. Gov. Mills would likely welcome all useful contributions to the effort whenever they come. I am doubtful, however, that with Balentine’s sense of humor, he will ever make most readers laugh.

Jon Hinck
Portland