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FACTS NEED TO BE SIFTED FROM OPINIONS

Re: APEGGA Ignores its Duty Over Climate Change Misinformation, by Norm Kalmanovitch, P.Geoph., Readers’ Forum, The PEG, June 2011.

Mr. Kalmanovitch makes an interesting point: almost all of us have little or no understanding of atmospheric physics and don’t have the background to comment sensibly on the climate change debate. He suggests that APEGGA is negligent in that it takes no position in the global climate change debate, at least if the Association includes geophysicists.

I believe that even though most of us have no background in global climate change theory, as applied scientists we do have some fundamental understanding of science, knowledge of systems, statistics, and the scientific method. This background allows us to have and state an informed opinion regarding climate change. Many of us have done so in this forum.

The debate should continue. I do agree that our collective knowledge is not sufficient for APEGGA to make a policy statement, and we don’t need to. When addressing climate change, we are before the court of public opinion, not a court of law. Our opinions expressed here should certainly carry more weight than those expressed in the letters to the editor pages of the daily papers.

Mr. Kalmanovitch carries himself to a higher standard than we as a group are able to maintain. I would like to see him present his views in the standard form: state qualifications, present theory and data, draw conclusions and provide references. This would serve the debate better than a presentation of his opinions.

One problem I have with Mr. Kalmano- vitch’s letters is that I can’t tell his facts from his opinions. He is a prolific writer. I have read many, possibly all, of his statements. He should have no problem with writing a paper presenting his views that can be subject to peer review. The stakes are high.

If he is right, the whole world econ- omy will certainly get a boost. But if he is wrong, future generations are in real trouble. I certainly hope he is right, but I’m afraid it’s too good to be true. Convince us, Mr. Kalmanovitch.

JOHN MIDDELVEEN,
P.ENG. APEGGA Life Member Calgary

Editor’s Note: In fairness to Mr. Kalmanovitch, we should note that
The PEG asks him to keep his Readers’ Forum submissions as brief as possible. We rarely publish detailed source information.

For those readers who would like to directly contact Mr. Kalmanovitch, we would be happy to act as the go-between by passing email addresses along to him. Send them to glee@apegga.org, subject line Kalmanovitch Contact.