Last week, the Natural Science Department at the University of Maine at Farmington and the Western Maine chapter of the Audubon Society co-sponsored a talk about climate change.

George Jacobson, acting Maine climatologist and University of Maine professor emeritus of biology, ecology and climate change, gave a clear, concise overview about global climate changes that have occurred over the millennia. Then he discussed Maine’s climate, past, present and future.

With his talk still fresh in mind, I read M.D. Harmon’s column in the Dec. 3 newspaper. Harmon’s opinion was both cynical and wrong.

Yes, we are experiencing global warming, and carbon dioxide levels are closely linked to the warming.

Ice-out on Maine lakes is three weeks earlier than it was 70 years ago. Greenland’s glaciers are melting, and the North Sea ice is thinning and shrinking in extent.

Carbon dioxide levels have shot up coincident with our burning fossil fuels at a prodigious rate. Science clearly links past periods of high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels with periods when the earth was warmer, at times dramatically warmer.

Science is good at studying what is and evidence of what was. It is not as good at making predictions, but we should not discount science because the future is difficult to predict with accuracy.

The preponderance of evidence and scientific opinion supports the concept of global warming, the concept of a greenhouse effect, the role of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and the contribution of burning fossil fuels to the current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Sorry, Harmon.

Burt Knapp, president

Western Maine Audubon


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