Letter: Balentine doesn't let climate facts get in his way

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John Balentine thinks five below-zero days in southern Maine in January should overthrow the firmly established fact that our climate is changing for the warmer.

But facts get in his way.

The facts are that 2017 was the third consecutive year of record high temperatures worldwide. The facts are that Portland experienced four days in a row below minus 20 in 1971. Our fair city apparently hasn’t seen minus 20 since 1976.

So the only reason it seems cold lately is because winters have become so routinely warmer around here.

Warming causes roiling, unpredictable weather, like snow in Georgia, and warm January days in Anchorage. Ask any high school physics teacher.

Warming is driving lobsters north, and roiling ruins food harvests. Ask any Maine farmer or orchard owner how bad unpredictable weather has already been for them. Ask a Massachusetts lobsterman about his recent catch – if you can find a Massachusetts lobsterman any more.

Of course, meteorologists, physics teachers, and farmers deal in facts (unlike Balentine).

Big picture? Global warming cost the U.S. an estimated $300 billion in damages last year alone. So it’s a bad thing, real bad.

But there are solutions, like putting a price on carbon pollution. Find out by joining the local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Go further by demanding climate solutions from our elected leaders. Ask U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin to join the House bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

A call or letter to them is a gift to future generations.

Peter Monro