As a scientist by training and background, who tends to take a long-range view of events, I cannot share The Post's negative assessment of the "greenhouse effect" {"Not Just a Hot Summer," editorial, Aug. 8}. Changed climate is not bad; it is just different. Summers may become hotter, but winters will become milder. One area becomes drier while another becomes wetter. While the central plains of the United States become a desert, the northern Mexican desert becomes fertile grassland and the Canadian tundra thaws out and becomes a breadbasket. We adapt. It all evens out.

The fossil fuels now being burned to produce the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide were formed millions of years ago by plants and microbes that withdrew that carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locked it up in coal, oil and gas. Thus one form of life -- mankind -- is simply now undoing what was done earlier by other forms of life.

As The Post points out, there is nothing pre-ordained or permanent or "normal" in our present climate and climatic patterns. Only 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, large portions of what is now the Sahara Desert were well watered; then, it is theorized, the glaciers that had long covered the Tibetan Plateau melted, summer wind flow changed, and wide-ranging alterations in weather occurred. Prior to 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, everything in America north of an irregular New York-Chicago line was covered with "permanent" ice for tens of thousands of years, and the sea level was some 400 feet lower than it now is. Climatic zones have shifted endlessly.

Thus I am not particularly concerned about the current restoration of the carbon-dioxide-induced status quo ante after a brief aberrant period of a mere few hundred million years. "Normality" in this respect is what we are producing, not what we now have.

For myself, on a short-term basis I look forward to the possibility of a rapid rise in sea level caused by the melting of the polar icecaps, so that my home in the District, at an altitude of about 250 feet, will become a beach-front property while I am still alive to enjoy it.