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FEATURED JOBS



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Enough already. The Nov. 16 editorial makes the statement “It’s not true” regarding Commissioner Dan Morris’ skepticism about the source of bay pollution. Cool it. “It’s not true” is extreme and beyond editorial opinion. It’s a confrontational, strident claim to knowledge you do not have.

While Morris can be cantankerous, his skepticism in this case is good judgment. He did not attack science. The problem is that there are no real metrics. We cannot measure the contribution, by source, for bay pollution or chemical condition. There are not even any good approximations based on real data. What you have is primarily speculation and extrapolations. To call that speculation “science” is biased abuse of the term. To call healthy skepticism an attack on science is even more absurd. The real “attack on science” is righteously indignant, unsubstantiated, claims of knowledge.

There is strong analogy and commonality with the ever-popular “global warming.” Yes, climate has been measured to be on a warming trend. Did humans cause it? Clearly unproven. We have no proof of any kind that dominant warmer climate is caused by human activity. We know that human activity has contributed to greenhouse gases that tend toward warming, but that may be only a tiny ripple compared to the overwhelming dominance of nature and gradual climate changes that have been there for scores of known cycles over many thousands of years. Why all of a sudden did humans create this particular cycle? We probably did not.

Your editorial digression into faulty engine lights seems to fit your other inflated claims of knowledge. Nearly all “check engine” lights have to do with sensors in the exhaust and have nothing in the world to do with engine health. And yes, it is extremely unlikely to indicate a faulty engine. I think you inadvertently made a point against yourself.

The common threads should be healthy skepticism, separating metrics from speculation, being open to plausibility arguments (which is what you have in both cases — not science) and being prudent about investments and cost-benefit analysis. The commissioner’s vote to upgrade sewage handling capacity was probably prudent. America’s and Canada’s choices (so far) to refuse to commit industrial suicide by signing the Kyoto Protocol treaty are also prudent. But then prudence is not what bloc-voting, inner-city majorities elected early this month.

Bill Rymer, Lexington Park