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Friday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Climate change</b>

EDITOR: Changed climate has already happened. We are in an era of increasingly unpredictable weather. In 2010 and 2011, there was an especially strong La Ni? event. Satellite measurements tell us the average global sea level fell five millimeters. Where did all that water go? Weather variables had resulted in a much higher percentage of rainfall being over land than sea. The extra rainfall over land was equivalent to 15 years continuous flow over Niagara Falls.

The insurance industry has projected increased global economic damage from unexpected weather events. It is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decade. Crop insurance is already changing, and infrastructure is buckling.

There are insufficient tools to predict weather changes. Forecasting has traditionally relied on comparisons with past history. This has become more meaningless and unreliable.

Adaptation planning can be done by a single farmer or any small or large enterprise or organization. It will improve with better long-range weather forecasting. California has already begun some 100-year planning. Adaptation efforts may prove to be much more cost-effective than restoration. People are now "betting the farm" on the outcome. Sonoma County needs improved long-range adaptation and contingency planning, including our financial options.

CARL FLEGAL

Santa Rosa

<b>Touching story</b>

EDITOR: With so many close races on the ballot, I was expecting there to be some emotion Tuesday. But I didn't expect to have tears in my eyes this morning.

Jeremy Hay's story about the life of Joseph Von Merta ("Troubled life cut short," Oct. 30) not only provided a sensitive look at his life and death. It was a memorable piece of writing. Tuesday's column by Chris Smith ("She met her dad through his obituary") literally brought tears to my eyes. And, this particular day, I thought I was prepared for anything.


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