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Columnists should do their homework before pontificating

Columnists should do their homework before pontificating

*Columnists should do their homework before pontificating *Why the TV blackout on success of high sc

Columnists should do their homework before pontificating

Re March 3 Charles Krauthammer column, "A real conservative’s perspective on climate change”: I get really tired of folks who have little knowledge of either science or a particular field in science writing about it as if they were experts.

First, I do agree with Mr. Krauthammer on one statement. President Obama never should have said climate change is a fact. There are no facts in science. But I suspect our president said it to make a point that we need to address climate change through both adaptation and mitigation.

Our knowledge of the natural world is based on the best information we have available. It is modified when new observations cannot be explained with the present information we have. However, most scientists agree (over 97 percent) that climate change is happening and is driven by human activity.

Climate modeling has become a very useful tool of climatologists. Supercomputers and very sophisticated programs have been able to make many accurate predictions. Though computer modeling has its drawbacks, it has come a long way since Freeman Dyson studied climate in the 1970s and is improving all of the time. In fact, the concept of modeling is used by all scientists and is part of the new science standards.

Mr. Krauthammer cited Dyson as a reference to denigrate climate modeling. For the skeptics, I suggest this website be visited: http://nas-sites.org/climatemodeling/.

The late climatologist, Stephen Schneider, a coordinating author of the IPPC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] report said that climate change is a consensus science, as is true of most science since we are not dealing with facts or information etched in stone. Over 2,000 scientists reviewed scientific literature related to climate change and came to the conclusion in the IPPC report that climate change is “unequivocal.” It is happening.

A few years ago, I invited Dr. Schneider to speak at the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) annual science conference. He asked the audience of about 1,000 teachers how many carried fire insurance. Everybody raised his or her hand. He then asked the audience how many had a fire, and about three people raised their hand.

Next, he said, so the public is willing to pay for fire insurance when there is a small chance their home will have a fire, yet when it comes to climate change, which is unequivocally happening, many in the public do not want to do anything.

Lastly, meteorologists were the last to climb on board about climate change, but the wacky weather we have been witnessing is beginning to be explained by climate change. For example, the melting of the Arctic, according to climatologist Dr. Jennifer Francis of the Institute for Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, has caused the jet stream to weaken and become wavy. The impact this year has been the deep freeze parts of the United States have experienced, while in Sochi, Russia, an unusual warming.

So please, Mr. Krauthammer, do your homework and talk to scientists who are actually doing the research today before you write editorials about a topic about which you have little understanding.

Joan Wagner

Saratoga Springs

Why the TV blackout on success of high school bowlers?

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both the Mohonasen boys bowling team as well as the Colonie girls team on their successful seasons. Both teams went to States to represent their respective schools and each took second place!

The Capital Region Huck Finn bowling show took note and invited the two teams to compete against each other to showcase their talent as the best of the best in high school bowling —what an honor! Bowling, along with other less popular sports, is so often overlooked by not only the community but, most importantly, by their own school!

Sadly, this was very evident at the taping. Not only were these high school athletes not allowed to wear their team jerseys, there could be no mention of the school they bowled for, either! What a slap in the face to these kids who have worked hard all season to win matches and tournaments for their schools to not be allowed to represent them on TV!

I hope that the person or people responsible from the school(s) are pleased with themselves. Once again you have succeeded in taking the spotlight off of an awesome sport and top-notch talent — or did you?

Watch the show on MY 4 on March 23 at 10:30 a.m. and judge for yourselves.

Once again, congratulations to not only the Mohonasen boys bowling team, but to the Colonie girls team on such awesome seasons!

Kristen Zadrozny


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