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Smith: Ted Cruz's stance on climate change baffles Sonoma County scientist

Ted Cruz, the first-to-declare candidate for U.S. president, declared that climate data from satellites demonstrates that Earth has warmed “none whatsoever” the past 17 years.

The senator from Texas went on to say March 17 on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that the problem with many “alarmists on global warming” is that science doesn’t back up their claims.

Checking of Cruz’s facts by the Washington Post and others led to Sonoma County physicist Carl Mears. He’s a senior scientist with Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa and for the past seven years a board member of the locally based Center for Climate Protection.

Satellite temperature research by Mears was one of the sources from which Cruz derived his conclusion on the weather of past 17 years, which’s he toned down to say the period has witnessed “no significant” warming

In response, Mears is quoted in the Post as saying that Cruz “and others who seek to minimize the threat posed by climate change” choose climate statistics for the past 17 years because 17 years ago, in 1998, the planet experienced above-normal temperatures because of strong El Niño conditions.

Mears told the Post’s Chris Mooney, “When one starts their analysis on an extraordinarily warm year, the resulting trend is below the true long term trend.

“It’s like a pro baseball player deciding he’s having a batting slump three weeks after a game when he hit three homers because he’s only considering those three weeks instead of the whole season.”

When I spoke with Mears, he said it surprises him that the existence of atmospheric warming caused by greenhouse gases has emerged as an issue in the 2016 presidential election. Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama and opponent John McCain concurred it was a serious problem.

Says Mears, “I kind of thought the political argument over whether it’s real or not was over.”

A MAN IS ALIVE in Fort Bragg? because a Mendocino County deputy sheriff named Zemanuel Lima acted without be ordered to, or even asked.

It was late at night when he heard a radio dispatch calling for firefighters and paramedics to respond to a man on Ocean View Drive who was unresponsive despite the 911 caller’s attempts to bring him around.

Lima arrived and relieved a woman trying desperately to revive her husband, who showed no signs of life. He performed CPR and when paramedics appeared assisted them until at last the man began to breathe.

At the scene and at the hospital, medics credited Lima with the save.

HER HERO: Adelina Felciano beams with pride for her boyfriend, Gordon Davis, who didn’t just drive on when he spotted a clearly frantic man waving and pleading for help alongside Old Redwood Highway north of Santa Rosa.

Davis pulled over and the man screamed, “I think my wife is dying!”

Davis dialed 911 and followed the man to a tent in a homeless encampment. He ducked inside to find a woman who clearly had died. Davis stayed with the man until authorities arrived.

Though there was no saving the woman, 43-year-old Donna Sovey, Felciano finds it heroic that her boyfriend pulled over for a stranger on the road and accompanied him into a camp.

She said, “He was willing to take the risk.”

AFTER MIDNIGHT: The death Thursday of a gentle, old pony named Midnight is breaking the hearts of a couple generations of fans of the kiddie corral at Santa Rosa’s Howarth Park.

“Midnight shared a special ability to make all who knew him love him,” said Linda Aldrich, founder of The Pony ?Express Equine Assisted Skills for Youth. The riding ring at the Summerfield Road park is a central component of Aldrich’s program.

About 30 years old, Midnight was a darling of the pony rides as recently as last Monday. In 2011, he received an Equus Award from the Sonoma County Horse Council for the joy he brought to children, some of whom were inspired to become equestrians.

Good boy, Midnight. Good night.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @CJSPD.

Editor’s note: This story has been changed to more accurately reflect Carl Mears’ thoughts on climate change as an issue in the 2016 presidential election. He is surprised not that global warming is a campaign issue, but rather the question of whether or not it is real.

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