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Climate Reports, Edited to Fit

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Climate Reports, Edited to Fit

Lewis Letter to the Editor in The New York Times

To the Editor:

Philip A. Cooney crossed out several lines predicting the reduction of mountain glaciers and snowpack in polar regions and "serious impacts on native populations that rely on fishing and hunting."

His marginal note says the deleted material was "straying from research strategy into speculative findings/musings." True or false?

Polyakov et al. (2002) found that the Arctic was warmer during the late 1930's than it is today.

So attributing most or all recent reduction in Arctic ice cover to man-made global warming is speculative. Davis et al. (2005) found that Antarctica's snowpack is thickening.

As for impacts on native peoples, Inuit culture flourished during several periods when Alaska was as warm as or warmer than it is today. Mr. Cooney's description of the deleted material as "speculative findings/musings" is correct.

Marlo LewisWashington, June 8, 2005The writer is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.