Belief in human-caused global warming rooted in sound science

Climate change

Regarding Gregory Bush’s letter (The Capital, Sept. 26) denying a scientific basis for climate change:

Climate models are tested, in a process known as “hindcasting,” against what we know happened in the past. If a model gets the past right, it’s likely to get the future right. In fact, climate models have predicted many phenomena for which we now have empirical evidence. So, contrary to Mr. Bush’s assertion, these models are based on sound, testable data and assumptions.

Mr. Bush claims that “many prominent climate scientists … are skeptics” but fails to name even one.

Prominent climate scientists such as Naomi Oreskes, Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook have written a paper concluding that between 90 percent and 100 percent of experts agree humans are responsible for climate change, with the consensus being 97 percent among published climate scientists. The greater the climate expertise among those measured, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

Mr. Bush asserts that the climate consensus exists only because the government rewards those who follow the party line or punishes those who don’t.

I don’t know who Mr. Bush thinks is running the government these days, but from what I can see the current administration has systematically defunded science-related activities, reduced public access to scientific information, removed scientific and technical review of its policy priorities, and abandoned science-based public protections. If climate change was ever the party line, it sure isn’t now.

Dwight Eisenhower was a fiscal conservative concerned about the growing size and cost of the U.S. defense establishment. In his farewell address warned against the “military-industrial complex,” not any “unholy alliance between science and politics.”

City finances

As a certified financial planner, I well understand the importance of sound money management, and I commend Mayor Mike Pantelides for the steady hand he has brought to fiscal policy in Annapolis during his term.

As with our personal financial planning, city leaders must manage both day-to-day immediate budgets and longer-term budgets for bigger goals. For city leaders, the immediate budgets are for running the city and the bigger goals include repairing City Dock and a new water plant.

Getting it right takes financial restraint and thoughtful debt management. I think it’s commendable that Annapolis has been graded by the two key ratings agencies, Fitch and Moody’s, as just short of the very highest level. This is good news for our city!

Pantelides inherited a challenging financial situation, which he and his team have worked hard to clean up. Seven years ago, the city’s general fund balance – comparable to a savings account – had shrunk to less than $3.8 million. Today, it is a healthy $38.6 million, and that increase is a remarkable accomplishment.

Through strong financial management, the city had an actual budget surplus of more than $3 million in fiscal 2016.

If we follow the money in making electoral decisions, re-electing Mayor Mike Pantelides for another term makes strong economic sense for all Annapolitans.

Health care

The Republicans, struggling to fulfill their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, have lately delegated health care management to the states, calling them the laboratories of government, from which the country can get ideas.

In this regard, I might call their attention to Massachusetts, whose health care plan covers 95 percent of its residents with an average annual premium for covered workers, after the employer contribution, of $1,110.

We might call this health plan “Romneycare” after its originator. Any resemblance to Obamacare is, of course, intentional.

Post Author: n1d4_pLus

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