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30 Fairmont Park Lane S
Lethbridge, AB T1K 7H7
Phone: (403) 328-1704
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Editor
The Lethbridge Herald
P.O. Box 670
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z7

Re: We don’t need to be paralyzed by naysayers

Dear Editor,

I’m surprised that Dr. David Major has categorized me as a “climate change denier” in his letter of December 21. The potential for climate change is a serious issue and we need to understand the science behind it much better before we undertake solutions which may not work, for alleged problems which may be far less urgent than commonly postulated. Perhaps Dr. Major does not appreciate the negative effect that intellect wasted on name calling is having on advancement of climate science.

I do not claim to be a climate scientist. I was, however, educated as a mechanical engineer. My curriculum included engineering and physics courses on mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer by radiation, conduction and convection, and combustion of fuels which provide most of the energy to operate the infrastructure humans have engineered. I also worked with fluid flow computer models. Knowledge of solar system mechanics and living systems which depend on atmospheric carbon dioxide for their very existence is also essential to climate science.

My basic training and work history in the nuclear energy industry sparked my interest in climate change issues in the late 1980’s. Self-study elevated my expertise to the point that I was chosen to serve for six years by the Canadian Nuclear Association as a representative to the National Climate Change Process established by the Canadian government in 1997.

Humans have evolved to the point that we have a much better understanding of how things work than fellow life forms on our planet. There is no doubt we are changing it. The possibility that we could have an effect on climate is certainly there. It thus behooves us to take on extra responsibility to ensure earth’s systems continue to support thriving life. Initiatives to better understand climate, and thus evaluate means of accommodating or ameliorating changes, are very important and well underway. Our knowledge is still far from complete.

Let us not bring progress in climate science to a halt by claiming the “science is settled” and labelling anyone who questions some aspects of the science to be a “denier”.

Yours truly,

Duane Pendergast, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng., FCNS



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