Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2018 Issue

Commentary on climate change, the pros and cons of PBS's The Vietnam War, and more letters to the editor from the January 1, 2018 issue of Library Journal.

“It is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”

Heated by humans

One month after this editorial appeared (Rebecca T. Miller, “No Time To Waste”), the fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment released its most recent findings mandated by the Global ­Research Act of 1990. This Assessment…concludes…based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century....

In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activity. Thousands of studies conducted by researchers [worldwide] have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water ­vapor....

Munich Re, the largest re-insurer of insurance companies responding to extremely high recovery and restoration costs in the event of weather extremes...places “Climate Change” at the top of its list of risks with the highest relevance for Munich Re and its stakeholders. The 2017 issue of the report summary Topics Geo addresses “Natural Catastrophes 2016 Analyses, Assessments, Positions” and states, “Research into extreme weather and climate change is making progress. It is now possible to quickly quantify the degree to which the intensity or frequency of certain events is influenced by man-made climate change.”

It is clear that changing climatic conditions are exacerbating extreme weather events and their dire consequences. Putting it in simple terms, climate deniers and their disciples are wrong to suggest otherwise. We live in a greenhouse gas–­constrained world, and there are people worldwide that are providing evidence and taking actions so future generations will live in a world no longer constrained by greenhouse gases.

—Frederick Stoss, Libn., Science & ­Engineering Info Ctr., Lockwood Lib., ­ SUNY at Buffalo

Who benefits?

I’m not convinced; this top ten occupations list strikes me as a bit odd (Rebecca T. Miller, “The Job Outlook”). Also, I watched the study methodology video [mentioned], which talks about the novel technique of using algorithms to mesh with human opinions and historical patterns. I am suspicious of the algorithms—what are they specifically and how have they been deployed to garner these results? I would ask instead, cui bono? Who benefits from a “study” like this? Sponsors, funders?

—Virginia Trow, Resource Sharing & ­Outreach Libn., South Central Regional Lib. Council, Ithaca, NY

Relief at last

This is a wonderful recommendation for a wonderful and factual film (John N. Berry III, “Vietnam Catharsis”). It also explains why there were huge protests throughout a great many countries, again and again. Now we can at least have some relief because the real story has finally been told.

—Noel Elliot, Niagara Falls, Canada

Wrong again

Yet again, Berry is completely wrong (John N. Berry III, “Vietnam Catharsis”). Does he own stock in the producer of this show? The Burns show is terrible! A twisted rewrite of a horrible war, and the propaganda does not stand to honest scrutiny. All one had to hear was the description of the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” and the listener knows the fraud is on. Berry should have retired many years ago; libraries need real leadership.

—Name withheld


CollectConnect is the new name of Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, which is the sponsor of “America’s Star Libraries” (Keith Curry Lance, LJ 12/17, p. 34–44). LJ is grateful for its sponsorship. Previewed in the Christian Fiction genre spotlight “A Delicate Balance” (LJ 11/15/17, p. 40ff.), Cathy Gohlke’s Until We Find Home was misprinted as Until We Reach Home. The Arts & Humanities review of Stephen F. Eisenman’s William Blake and the Age of Aquarius (LJ 12/17, p. 97) misidentified the publisher as Princeton Architectural. Princeton University Press released the October title. LJ apologizes for the errors. In a last-minute update, we were told that HBM Architects is the Library Planner for the renovated Heaton Family Learning Commons at Butler County Community College, PA (“Welcome Home: Library Buildings 2017,” p. 18ff).

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