The Charlottesville Daily Progress frequently refuses to print valid rebuttals to published “letters to the editor.” The Schilling Show will make space available for such refutations and factual corrections of error, whenever possible:

Unpublished rebuttal letter, submitted to the Daily Progress by Dr. Charles Battig on December 8, 2019:

Shame on “scientist” Lawrence for needlessly frightening eight-graders with her personal daily obsession with imagined climate catastrophes.   Rather than reassuring these youngsters that exaggerated claims of future climate catastrophes are the result of faulty United Nations climate computers and scientifically un-proved claims, she promotes the U.N. agenda that human activities are able to control global climate.

As a scientist, she should be well aware that this U.N. claim drives all its political aims, but has never been scientifically validated. The U.N. artfully terms the results of its notoriously inaccurate climate computers as “scenarios” rather than predictions, lest Nature embarrasses them and not conform to their desired climate outcomes. Her own language proves as much as she qualifies each 2100 scenario with “might,” “possibly,” and “it could be.” Such linguistic nuances are likely lost on innocent young minds, which will likely be haunted by “worst case scenarios.”

The author gives two on-line references in support of her claims. The first is password protected, and thus irrelevant. The second is a non-specific blanket reference to an IPCC “Summary for Policymakers” report.

It contains:

“Estimated anthropogenic global warming is currently increasing at 0.2°C (likely between 0.1°C and 0.3°C) per decade” 

“Anthropogenic emissions (including greenhouse gases, aerosols and their precursors) up to the present are unlikely to cause further warming of more than 0.5°C over the next two to three decades…”

Thus, children are being frightened needlessly over an estimated 0.2°C rise over ten years. Their grandparents may very well be vacationing in Florida enjoying a 20°C rise in a one-day driving from winter Virginia.

A Virginia Institute for Marine Science study on Virginia shoreline and sea-levels concluded: “there is presently no evidence of a statistically significant increase (of sea level) indicating an acceleration…approximately 50% of the Relative Sea Level rise measured at the bay stations is due to local subsidence.” The eastern shore is sinking from geological history, not CO2.

95 F summers? Relax, the latest NOAA report documents a 2016-2019 continuing summer U.S. cooling trend.

Promoting panic does not make for healthy children.

Charles G. Battig, M.D.


Original letter written by Deborah Lawrence, published by the Daily Progress on December 7, 2019:

Thank you to University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and the Board of Visitors for committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. I have worked at UVa for 20 years. For the first time, I feel I truly belong.

Climate change is my guiding light. Every day, I decide where to invest my energy, time and money by asking: “How does this create a better climate future?”

As a scientist, I study climate change and teach about it. I support local, state, national and international institutions as they forge their climate strategies. I engage as a citizen.

I also worry — when I am in front of 300 undergraduates describing the path we are on and when I look at my own children across the dinner table. All our children will live their entire lives facing the consequences of our actions over the coming decade. UVa’s goal begins to tip the balance in their favor.

In class a few weeks ago, I described how it took 10,000 years to warm up from the last ice age — a minimum of 20 generations for a tree species that lives 500 years. That’s plenty of time to adjust.

Right now, climate change of similar magnitude is happening in 200 years, within the lifetime of one tree. How can it possibly adjust?

I looked out at my class. A lump rose in my throat and I said, “You are the saplings.” Thankfully, the metaphor is not perfect; humans can move. We can move mountains. We must. And we will.

I recently spoke to my son’s eighth-grade class. They asked me what would happen if we don’t do something. Standing before them, I paused. Many of them will live to see 2100, the endpoint for most climate model projections. They might see entire summers in Charlottesville with temperatures over 95°F, up to three feet of sea level rise on our coast, and devastating floods such as the one that killed two people in Albemarle County a couple years ago. Possibly much worse — disruption to our economy, food shortages, climate refugees and conflict. I told them it could be bad, but we still have time.

For them, and for all our children, a better climate future means moving away from fossil fuels beginning now. Because of leadership from President Ryan and the Board of Visitors, UVa is starting down that path. Thank you.

Deborah Lawrence



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