Explaining global warming locally
Re “2015 likely to be 2nd-hottest year in Sacramento since end of WWII” (Page 3A, Dec. 14): The average temperature chart revealed little trend, perhaps a 1 degree Fahrenheit during 70 years. This trend could have resulted from the growth of Sacramento around the temperature station at Executive Airport, also known as the urban heat-island effect.
Compared to the 70-year average high of 73.8 degrees, the 2014 high was 3.2 degrees hotter, a trend, the author notes, most scientists attribute to climate change. The 1982 high was 4.8 degrees cooler than average, but this difference, which was 50 percent greater than the 2014 difference, was not credited to global cooling.
Linking the current drought to 2014-2015 temperatures revealed another weak thread between data and conclusions. The last major drought peaked in 1976, when the high at Executive Airport was about average. California droughts poorly relate to temperature at Executive Airport.
Never miss a local story.
Inferring climate change from a single temperature station is like inferring the health of a population from a single person.
Given the patterns in the temperature chart, 2016 could be hot or a lot cooler.
Shawn Smallwood, Davis
Liberals’ reach is not worldwide
Re “Not disqualified, Cruz stands tall” (Letters, Dec. 18): Letter writer James Rushford gets it exactly backwards when he says Sen. Ted Cruz listens to scientists about climate change.
Cruz doesn’t listen to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, but instead picks scientists who support his conservative positions.
Rushford declares climate change is only an issue because liberal politicians declared it to be a fact. Exactly backwards.
How could liberal politicians in the United States convince every major scientific organization in the world to go along with this supposed scheme? And how could they get 196 nations to commit to significant changes to address a problem that supposedly doesn’t have a scientific consensus?
Ron Dale, Folsom
Is Dan Walters turning partisan?
Re “Trump’s not only offender” (Dan Walters, Dec. 14): I’ve been reading Dan Walters commentaries since his days at The Sacramento Union and can’t remember him being so explicitly partisan and ideological as he was in this column.
Walters says denying gun purchases to individuals on the federal “no-fly list” is depriving people of a constitutional right without due process. I think most people Walters labels as “self-proclaimed liberals” also have problems with secret “no-fly list” because of the errors and lack of due process.
But why is the right to buy a gun the only constitutional right that concerns Walters? He shows no concern about these same individuals being deprived the right to fly without due process? Freedom to travel was thought to be so fundamental during the drafting of the Constitution as to not need the same explicit enumeration as the right to bear arms.
John Briggs, Sacramento
Radical Muslims must be stopped
There is no comparison between calls to restrict the entry of refugees from countries which send terrorists to other countries and the incarceration of Japanese American citizens during World War II.
This confinement was ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with strong encouragement from then-California Gov. Earl Warren. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover opposed this imprisonment. Despite this atrocity, their young men could not enlist fast enough, and their record speaks for itself. There were no domestic Japanese American terrorists.
Radical Islamic terrorists have attacked Americans since 1993. They have been active in Europe before then. FBI Director James Comey has said he does not have the information to vet these refugees.
Stephen P. Keller, Rocklin
Brown should lead on composting
Re “Brown living in historic mansion” (The Buzz, Dec. 17): Talk is cheap in pricey Paris, but options for action abound in Sacramento. Here’s one:
The California Governor’s Mansion opened in the capital in 1877, six decades before the world’s first municipal landfill opened in Fresno. This suggests the luxurious home was a zero-waste operation for much of its history, with all refuse, most of which was organic, being recycled.
Could the mansion now return to its landfill-free glory days? That would be a worthy legacy for a governor doing so much to lead on environmental issues and set standards for sustainability.
Brown wants to get everybody moving in a radically new direction. He could help show how with a modest step back to the future in his new-historic home.
Scott Thompson, Sacramento
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