Editor, Index-Tribune:The climate change deniers seem to get the most press on this subject, which confuses some into thinking that the deniers have an understanding of the natural environment. So let me see if I get this right.

Atmospheric scientists and climatologists have been studying changes in the earth’s average temperature for well over 40 years, and have all – with few or no exceptions – agreed that the hundreds of millions of tons of incompletely-burned carbon compounds spewing into the atmosphere every day, all over the globe, have an effect on the environment.

Modeling in the early ‘80s has produced scenarios that have indicated lower risks associated with these changes than are being realized today. Governments, non-governmental and non-partisan organizations, academics, and private firms compile facts and figures, and analyze them using sophisticated equipment and modeling, and still they predict less severe consequences than are currently being realized, such as the rate of melt-off of Arctic ice.Based on the deniers’ premises, we are to ignore the science and tremendous amounts of data and just accept that our practices are OK, and that continuing to use and apply the same principles that have gotten us this far (following the status quo) won’t have any effect on the future health of the planet and those who live on it.On the other hand, what if the deniers are wrong? What’s the basis of their arguments?Lest we forget, Galileo and DaVinci were incarcerated for not following the status quo. Those who speak from the voice of empirical processes and are well-learned provide us with valuable information and, like much in life, use what’s of value and discard that which is just background noise.Randy CookSonoma