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Letter: Climate facts revisited

As a frequent visitor to the Roaring Fork Valley over the past 40 years and a career environmental scientist, I want to reply to the letter by Floyd Diemoz, “Climate Facts Matter,”  from May 6. In the letter, he attempts to make the case that NOAA scientists manipulated data to support a study showing increased warming of the Earth over the past two decades. Such fabricated data for this one study, Diemoz argues, throws into question all of the scientific findings about climate change and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Diemoz’s argument focused solely on data concerns raised in early February 2017 by another NOAA scientist, John Bates. It is really too bad that Diemoz did not read the complete story, but chose to cherry-pick the pieces that matched his objective. Bates later clarified that he was raising a highly technical criticism about the data archival process and actually agreed with the main conclusions of the study that global temperatures warmed steadily over the past two decades. Rather than just looking at a partial snapshot, Diemoz should have looked at the larger picture.

Diemoz incorrectly implies that one questionable study could falsify all of the findings about climate change and cause the dissolution of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is important to point out that the Paris Climate Agreement is based on the work of thousands of international scientists summarizing the results of tens of thousands of carefully vetted studies. One study is not enough to overcome the overwhelming scientific consensus behind the Paris Climate Agreement.



Many organizations as diverse as the United Nations, Coca Cola, Ford and the U.S. Department of Defense have accepted the scientific findings of climate change, and have developed long-term policies and strategies to deal with the impacts of climate change. It is time for the United States and its citizens to accept the overwhelming science behind climate change, and follow the actions identified in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

With its economic dependence on outdoor recreation and the natural environment, the Roaring Fork Valley must ensure that the Paris Agreement is followed.



Robert Cook, Ph.D.

Oak Ridge, Tennessee


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