Until recently, scientists could not absolutely prove that anthropogenic global warming, or AGW (warming caused by man) caused more wildfires or more hurricanes. But scientists now have conclusive proof that global warming does contribute to these climate extremes (“Study: Climate change increasing fire weather,” Nov. 2).

Climate scientists have been able to prove that global warming is real and has been happening since the early 1980s, but their efforts are distorted by the voices of deniers too often funded by Big Oil. So, just like seeing one missing brick in a large building does not prove it will collapse, the relatively few unknowns that climate scientists try to fill in do not, and did not, disprove the much larger body of evidence based on objective truth.

I wish the News Tribune had begun publishing letters long ago like the one Oct. 14, “Column on climate influenced by religion.” Such letters were needed when we still had time to avoid a tipping point. However, that point has now been passed, and although we can never expect to be completely free of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, we can improve our situation.

Instead of blaming the obvious culprits — large corporations that make their living on oil production and conservative think tanks — deniers were able to successfully cast doubts on the very people who asserted real facts. Sometimes when I got emotionally worked up after trying to get a point across to the News Tribune, it seemed I was considered nothing but a little red hen, hysterically screaming that the sky is falling.

It’s my hope that, from this point on, any letters I write about AGW, along with the letters of those who deny it is happening, will continue to at least be considered worthy of fact-checking and that letters from people who know much more about climate science than I do will be valued.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Peter W. Johnson


Readers' View and Local Views

Letters are limited to 300 words, must be the original work of the author and must be exclusive to the News Tribune. Letters are edited for style, space, accuracy and civility.

Letter writers are limited to one published submission every 30 days.

With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, libelous or attack other writers; consumer-complaint letters; thank-you letters; or letters generated by political or special-interest campaigns.

We will consider exclusive Local View columns of 600 words or fewer. Authors should possess unique insights, and their commentaries should demonstrate greater knowledge of their subject than letters.

Email submissions to: letters@duluthnews.com

Mail to: Readers' Views, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Fax to: 218-720-5120.

Include a full name, address and daytime phone number. Only names and hometowns will be published.