To the Editor:

Dennis Wallingford and Pam Dawling (Letters, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10) are clearly of the same opinion when it comes to treating the environment with respect and doing so in an intelligent way (to paraphrase Wallingford’s words.)  

I would like to respond to Mr. Wallingford’s request for references for the statistics showing public opinion on human-caused climate change in the 56th district. The statistics Ms. Dawling cites are from the following source:  “Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018.” Yale Climate Communications Center, July 20, 2018.

As to the 31,000 people who reportedly signed the petition cited by Mr. Wallingford, I rely on snopes.com to research such a claim, and they rate the claim Mostly False. 

This is because most of the signatures are (1) not verifiable as to names or truth of their science connections, (2) the number of supposed signatures with background in earth, environmental or atmospheric science is not 31,000, but only about 3,700, and (3) the organization that circulated the petition is clearly a political, not a scientific, organization, with political, not scientific, interests.  The petition has been around since 1998, and its wording refers to the Kyoto agreement of 1997. Go to snopes.com/fact-check/30000-scientists-reject-climate-change.  

Another source of information about the denial of climate change by those who stand to benefit from business as usual is the 2014 film Merchants of Doubt, which explores the way tobacco companies were able to deny cancer connections for so long, and the use of the same tactics by the oil and gas industries.

One reason I plan to vote for Juanita Jo Matkins for delegate from the 56th district is that she is a scientist who has done the research.  Matkins is a former Louisa County teacher and professor at The College of William & Mary, not a employee of the oil and gas industry. She will vote for sensible legislation that will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that are contributing to climate change.

Dave Kellar

Louisa