I was deeply troubled by the “Point/Counterpoint” feature in your newspaper on Friday, Sept. 8. The article featured two authors of opposing viewpoints, with each answering the question: “Did Hurricane Harvey hammer home the reality of climate change?”
Point/Counterpoint features should ideally focus on issues that are subjective and have yet to be resolved. Climate change is not such an issue. The scientific community has been warning the public for years that climate change is real, largely man-made, and will result in storms of greater devastation and frequency. These claims are currently evidenced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as by the wildfires ravaging our own region of the country.
By presenting the effects of climate change as a topic still open for debate, the Herald commits two grave offenses: It undermines the authority (and overwhelming consensus) of the scientific community, and it falsely focuses the issue of climate change as one of subjectivity and belief, when it is in fact one of science and empiricism.
I look forward to the Herald’s upcoming Point/Counterpoint features, including “Do seatbelts save lives?” and “Do cigarettes really cause cancer?”
Adam Whittier, Richland