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Letters to the editor: On baroclinic instability – Las Cruces Sun-News

These letters published in the Oct. 16, 2022 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Climate change a shelter from uncertainty?

We’re all prone to confirmation bias, such as casting recent floods in Pakistan as evidence of climate change. “Climate weirding” is not a scientific term, but “baroclinic instability”, meaning the atmosphere flows in waves which vary chaotically, is. One such chaotic variation is that of El Niño and La Niña. Of La Niña, NASA writes: “… Indian monsoon rainfall tends to be greater than normal, especially in northwest India.” We are currently experiencing La Niña.

Things are multi-factoral, the concept of global warming appears valid, and one cannot preclude changes in precipitation. However, the year to year variability of the Indian monsoon is large while modeled trends of precipitation to date are small. This suggests that La Niña was much more significant than climate change in flooding Pakistan. Because “baroclinic instability” occurs regardless of CO2, reducing CO2 will not prevent events such as monsoon floods, nor any other weather events that occur from fluctuations of motions.

Nietzsche lamented that through science we had killed god but also warned that we would seek replacements to shelter us from uncertainty as previous gods had. Climate change may be one of these religions, with fossil fuels unambiguously evil and low CO2 a supposed utopia. But with its forcing limited as logarithmic, CO2 is not such a potent devil, and satellites indicate that with increased CO2, plant life has increased globally. While global warming is a kernel of truth, many presumed resultant adverse phenomena are increasingly contradicted by the observational record.

Be wary of absolutist ideologies, especially those dripping with moralism.

Steve McGee, Las Cruces

Sheriff Stewart deserves second term

Doña Ana County needs and deserves a sheriff who will go beyond the average in serving our communities. As our sheriff for the past four years, Kim Stewart has proven that she is effective, compassionate and brave.

Sheriff Stewart’s policy of community policing has created countywide trust in her office (DASO). Part of that success comes from her personal responses to community issues and frequent involvement in community events. Because DASO is now very aware of the needs and concerns of our communities, Sherriff Stewart has redirected its fiscal and organizational resources to advance their effectiveness in addressing crime.

In support of DASO’s staff, Sherriff Stewart initiated a Peer Support Program and drastically expanded training opportunities for both certified and noncertified staff. During the COVID outbreak, she defended DASO’s administrative staff’s ability to work from home, fighting intense political pressure to force them back into the office. Responding to the need to protect DASO’s staff by providing them with a stable and defensible structure, she updated a 21-year-old policy and procedures manual.

Working to solve today’s problems using today’s strategies, and acting on the knowledge that the sheriff’s office exists as a part of a system of law enforcement, Sheriff Stewart has successfully developed and participated in cooperative, effective, and cost efficient teamwork with municipal, state, and federal agencies. She has also implemented better uses of existing technologies while seeking out and adopting new technologies.

Sheriff Kim Stewart is not just a full-time sheriff; she is a hands-on, all-the-time, all-the-way sheriff.

Ronald G. White, Las Cruces

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