Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Letters to the editor Jan. 13

| January 13, 2022 12:00 AM

Stunning, indeed

Mark Agather recently published an opinion/endorsement of a recent book by Robert F. Kennedy that is a nasty attack on the career, character and credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Mark’s third-hand summary of Kennedy’s biased, second-hand knowledge is presented as scientific evidence and fact. It is neither fact nor evidence, and should not be used to discredit a distinguished scientist who has spent his professional career authoring or coauthoring more than 1,400 articles in the area of epidemiology.

Robert Kennedy is not a scientist, nor is Mark Agather, and neither is capable of evaluating or understanding the data that underlie their claims and allegations about Dr. Fauci or Covid. Expertise and experience actually matter. And so does the source of your information.

I might ask Mark’s opinion of an insurance policy since that was his background, but I certainly would not ask him if I should take Ivermectin to combat the coronavirus, nor would I rely on Kennedy’s recommendations based on his selective summary of biased and often discredited research.

Robert Kennedy has been an outspoken anti-vaxer since at least 2005 when he apparently believed an article published in the Lancet medical journal by Dr. Andrew Wakefield claiming the commonly used measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination was causal in creating childhood autism. This article was subsequently discredited, withdrawn from the journal, and contradicted by numerous peer reviewed studies. Nonetheless, Kennedy has continued on an antivaccination quest culminating in this recent attack on Dr. Fauci.

The misinformation offered by Mark and Kennedy is prolonging the pandemic, killing people and undermining trust in the very professionals we need most to help us understand and negotiate the largest pandemic challenge of our lifetime. Dr. Fauci does not deserve these malicious attacks and unfounded innuendos.

— John Santa, Kalispell

Climate denial or truth denial?

Three opinion writers (Jan 3) disagree with my message on climate (Dec 27). It is certainly fair to try to find a meaningful error in my paper. That’s how science works.

However, none of the three succeeded in that goal.

Harry Richardson wrote, “However, it’s widely accepted that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are the main driver of climate change.” But a consensus is not a scientific argument. Votes don’t count in science.

Andrew Burns wrote, “the math is skewed,” obviously not understanding math, or he would put his argument on my website. Professionals (on both sides) agree that my math and calculations are correct.

Burns wrote, “You are an apologist for big oil and Detroit.” Every debate coach in the valley would reject that argument because it only attacks the messenger.

Laura Reynolds wrote, “Climate change is real. Cost of doing nothing is that a lot of very bad things will happen.” But shouting her opinion is not a scientific argument.

Until someone proves my paper is wrong, my paper’s proof – that natural CO2, not human CO2, is the primary cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2 – stands.

According to the scientific method, proof that a theory is false overturns all claims that the theory is true. Therefore, until proven wrong, my paper speaks for true science.

If you want to take this further and your intent is to seek truth, simply invite me to speak to your group.

— Ed Berry, Bigfork

Radical ideas

As we draw closer to the day when a new director for our beloved public library is chosen, our current situation here in the Flathead Valley has often been on my mind.

Many letters to the editor have been written, including two from current trustees. My only comment on those letters is that when an organization begins to quickly lose staff, the leadership of the organization must look to themselves for the answer, not to the public who has raised an outcry of concern.

We love our library, and we want it to succeed. I honestly do find myself in agreement with the statement that the American Library Association has a “radical agenda.”

To provide, for free, a wealth of materials for the public’s well-being and education is a radical idea. To use taxpayer’s money to maintain and provide a safe building in our community where anyone is welcome, regardless of wealth or status, to enter and stay as long as they like, for free, is a radical idea.

Librarians are radical; they support the idea that materials which are carefully chosen for all users should stay in the collection and it should be very hard to remove these items. Librarians and libraries support the radical premise of the First Amendment, the protection of our right to free speech in this country.

We have the right to free access to information. I am thankful to live in a country where these radical ideals still exist, and I will continue to raise my voice in support of maintaining the freedoms which are granted to us in our Constitution. America has always been a radical country. Let’s all work together to keep our country free from government overreach!

— Valeri McGarvey, Kalispell

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