Letters to the editor for Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

More on climate change

How many ways can Lynn Muzzy be wrong about climate change? I’ve lost count. A few weeks ago Muzzy dredged up the thoroughly debunked myth about meteorologists at the University of East Anglia conspiring to falsify their data for financial gain. Now Muzzy claims that Ursula Carlson’s explanation of how warming oceans affect rainfall patterns is “ignorance on stilts.”

Muzzy goes on to claim that the Weather Service “had to apologize recently when its computer modeling program ... incorrectly predicted a massive snow storm that petered out.”

Talk about ignorance on stilts! Winter Storm Juno didn’t “peter out” at all. It dumped 30 inches of snow in parts of Long Island. The models had predicted two feet of snow in Queens, enough to disrupt rail, air and road traffic, but the storm unexpectedly shifted 50 miles to the east and Queens only got one foot, resulting in far less disruption.

Gary Szatkowski, chief meteorologist at the Mt. Holly, N.J., weather bureau, apologized to local officials for getting it wrong, but only because he’s a standup guy. Educated guesses are part of the process, and sometimes guesses are wrong.

Muzzy thinks the computer used to track Juno is “the one it uses to fraudulently ‘prove’ man-caused climate change.” Wrong again. Meteorologists do track short-term climate fluctuations, but only to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasts. Climate trends are tracked by NASA and the IPCC, which rely on very different kinds of computer systems.

Rich Dunn

Carson City

National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

The U.S. Congress has declared Feb. 15-22 to be National Court Reporting and Captioning Week. That gives me the opportunity to sing the praises of a profession that’s been my career for more than 40 years.

Within our court systems across the country and right here in Northern Nevada, court reporters are capturing every word spoken in the courtroom and preserving those records for history. On television and Internet programs, broadcast captioners are able to display in real time the words being spoken so that people with hearing loss and people for whom English is a second language can understand and enjoy the show, too.

Out in the community, people with hearing loss can gain access to classes, business meetings, community lectures and theatrical performances because of the work of stenographic writers providing CART (Communication Access Realtime Transcription).

We are the ones quietly toiling away to write and display every spoken word, and our work seldom gets highlighted. But the service we provide to our communities is enormously important.

Karen Yates



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