Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lessons learned (or at least taught), #234567 and #234568

Lesson #234567: 
When you submit a letter to the editor, suggest a title for it.

... or else it might end up with an inadvertently misleading one.

(And to help solve the problem more generally, also suggest to newspaper webmasters that they help other citizens avoid similar embarrassment by adding a "suggested title" field to the online "submit a letter" form; perhaps along with a "do you really want to submit this?" verification, to aid those  whose gung-ho computers leap to Submit before we're remotely ready to.)

For the record, on the tie between our recent heat wave and global warming - it's complicated, or it's simple, depending on how we choose to look at it.

Simple: in our recent heat wave, we've just had a taste of the kind of weather that current climate science tells us to expect us to get hit with much more severely and frequently, if we don't tackle global warming; see the NASA animation showing this shift (in Northern Hemisphere) already.* (A letter to this effect could be titled: "Our recent heat wave: a harbinger of our global warming future.")

Or we can make it complicated:
We can't (to my knowledge) attribute that particular local heat wave, or any other that we've had locally, to global warming.
(But the evidence shows that globally we ARE already getting more heat waves, and climate science predicts we'll get much worse in future; and analysis of some other extreme events, e.g. last year's Texas drought, show them many times more likely to occur due to climate change than not.)

Lesson #234568 (Category: social intelligence):
At a gathering, when you've been talking to and aiding someone who through no fault of their own finds it difficult to communicate, and then you move on to speak with someone else at the same table, first look & see if you can find someone else to come & keep company with the first person.

* as far as I know this is still accurate, but I could be wrong.  In general, I'd recommend you see Climate Central for a more thoroughly researched view.

1 comment:

Don Pelton said...

There's still no guarantee the editor will use your title.