LETTER: Local forecasters need to educate

Porter Hedge
Spring Garden Township
This Sept. 22, 2018 file photo shows the Baishui Glacier No.1 on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the southern province of Yunnan in China. Scientists say it is one of the fastest melting glaciers in the world due to climate change and its relative proximity to the Equator. It has lost 60 percent of its mass and shrunk 250 meters since 1982. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

I was surprised recently to feel how hot it was outside. On Sept. 11, I was watching the WGAL weather forecast and the meteorologist told us that day the Susquehanna Valley experienced its 30th day this year when temperatures reached over 90 degrees.

They also said that we had 25 days last year that hit 90 degrees-plus, and the average for our area was 20 days. Very odd that we hit that mark in almost mid-September. Also very odd was that no mention was given to what is very likely the reason for the climbing thermometer — climate change.

July was the hottest month ever recorded on earth. So why do the meteorologists at WGAL stay mute on the topic? Yes, weather and climate are two different things, but research shows meteorologists are trusted messengers on climate science. So, when WGAL weather forecasters stay mute on the topic, I think they do our community a disservice.

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The World Meteorological Organization put out a report this year that pointed out the global impacts of global warming are accelerating. This is extremely obvious, as the Greenland ice sheet experienced record melt, fires ravage the Arctic, weather disasters continue to pummel the U.S., and so on.

I see Al Roker regularly works climate science into his forecasts on the "Today" show, and that’s great. But when the local forecasters stay mute, an important opportunity to educate the local public on the issue is lost.

And God knows many Republican lawmakers need to be educated on this issue. From Donald Trump, who says windmill noise causes cancer, to Scott Perry, who told a town hall crowd that God is a polluter (no wonder he won’t let anyone in his town halls any more), Republicans are flaunting their ignorance.

So please, WGAL meteorologists, speak up on this issue. Susquehanna Valley residents need to be educated about global warming because it’s getting hot and ignorance is no excuse for our elected officials to continue inaction.

Porter Hedge

Spring Garden Township