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

More in Opinion

PAT NEAL: A short history of fishing

TOURISM IS A hazardous industry, just ask our Native American friends. When… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: A short history of history

SOMETIMES, I MISS the good old days. The really old good old… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Birdwatching with a chainsaw

BIRD WATCHING IS my life. Most of my best bird watching has… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Bringing back the dodo

THESE DAYS, SCIENTISTS are saying we are living through the sixth mass… Continue reading

Ellen Menshew
POINT OF VIEW: Gun laws effective as means to curb relentless violence

I WAS BORN and raised in Alaska. My family homesteaded there. It… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: My funny Valentine

HELLO YOUNG LOVERS, whoever you are. I hope your troubles are few.… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The victory of ‘Our Land: Quileute Territory’

READ ANY GOOD books lately? There’s a new one out that should… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: ‘The Big Blowdown’

THERE’S A SAYING around here: If you don’t like the weather, wait… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Celebrating Robbie Burns Day

a celebration of literature, music and… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The tale of the 100-pound salmon

Who says there’s no good news? A new world-record Chinook salmon weighing… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: What happened to Dollie?

IN LAST WEEK’S episode, the Press Expedition of 1889-90, a motley collection… Continue reading