LETTER: Cliff Mass plays it too safe in describing climate change effects

The atmospheric sciences professor ignores certainty in favor of obfuscation.

So [atmospheric sciences professor] Cliff Mass was here a couple weeks ago, delivering a lecture at the Port Angeles Library.

I read about it in the Aug. 19 PDN (“Few Peninsula Climate Change Effects – Yet”).

True to form, Mass played it very conservatively.

After all, he is the meteorological big-shot in the Pacific Northwest and would probably like to keep it that way.

It’s a common strategy among climate scientists: Promulgate doubt and uncertainty and thereby forestall political action.

I mean, near-term human extinction resulting from abrupt, catastrophic, runaway greenhouse gases is an unhappy outcome and remains unmentionable in polite society.

Clearly, Mass strives to tell the scientific truth where mathematical certainty abides.

Thus, while there may be no God today, there could be in the future.

But this weatherman is not providing the whole scientific truth, which is that human civilization is already caught in multiple runaway feedback cycles, such as exponential methane release in the Arctic and the inexorable melting of the sea and land ice at the poles (“Going Dark” by Guy McPherson, 2013).

Scientific rationality and restraint are weak tea for the howling night in the rain-soaked field where all the cows are black.

Mark Schrader,

Port Angeles

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