My local newspaper, The Daily Herald, is at it again. The climate contrarian editorial staff has in the past claimed that CO2 can’t cause much warming because water vapor is a more important greenhouse gas. (REALLY?!!! What is this thing called “water vapor” that climatologists have never heard of?) They also endorsed some fringe speculation that CFCs are really to blame (even though there is FAR less of these gases in the atmosphere than CO2, and they can look up what the radiative forcing due to CFCs has been right in the IPCC report.) Last week, they printed an editorial (“Wet and Wild,” Jan. 19, 2011) in which they made this astonishing claim:
The danger has swung from drought to floods. Local officials are already looking carefully at the Spanish Fork River and the American Fork River. Area residents in potential flood areas should prepare for the worst this spring.
The earth is remarkably well-constructed. Its rhythms play out a balanced symphony over time. It should be clear to all by now that the recent panic over supposed global warming and climate change are wildly overblown.
I really hate to criticize such stunning prose, what with the “balanced symphony” metaphor, and all. But I managed to quell my inhibitions and immediately wrote a letter, which they have apparently declined to publish. (UPDATE: I just got an e-mail from the DH opinion editor saying they will publish it this week. UPDATED UPDATE: They published it here.) Here it is:
In a recent editorial (“Wet and Wild”, Jan. 19) you claimed, “It should be clear to all by now that the recent panic over supposed global warming and climate change are wildly overblown.” Really? Why? Because we were having a drought, but this year we might be having some floods.
Has any climate scientist ever claimed that climate change would make it so there would never be any more flood years in Utah? If not, then I suggest perhaps you are stretching a bit to manufacture evidence for your preferred point of view.