Letters to the Editor

Climate shifts

February 6, 2010


To the editor:

It’s difficult to be precise within the 250-word limit in a letter to the editor. The point of my previous letter (Public Forum, Jan. 26) was about human impact on climate, but my reference to the ancient Roman and Mayan civilizations appears to have confused the issue.

I simply meant to point out one of many accepted reasons that led to their mutual cultural decline; that being a burgeoning population, not to imply the only reason.

So I’ll keep it closer to this century and keep it simple. We breed like rabbits. Our cities get bigger. We use and waste more water. We cut down more trees, build more cars and generally treat our local and global environment like a landfill.

There is a natural cycle of global warming and cooling; that is not in doubt. But to say that humans can’t affect climate change is arrogant. The Dust Bowl in the ’30s is a perfect example. Years of sustained drought (natural cycle) was exacerbated by the misuse of land through decades of extensive farming (human impact).

Poor plowing techniques killed most of the natural prairie grasses that kept the topsoil in place and retained moisture during drought. So without the grasses’ natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried out, turned to dust and blew away. This rendered around 100 million acres of land useless and affected weather patterns for years.

Natural climate shifts are, well, natural, but humans have had and continue to have a hand in making things worse.


grimpeur 5 years ago

I'll drive what, when and where I please, thank you. The dust bowl? That was 80 years ago. We were stupid then--cavalier, overconsumptive and willfully ignorant. We would never make the same stewardship mistakes now.

normal_entire_route 5 years ago

sarcasm us the lowest form of humor...

devobrun 5 years ago

The difference, Steve, between natural and man-made influences on the environment are that we can change. In the case of the dust bowl, we did. The droughts still come, but the erosion is not so severe.

Currently we are not experiencing any drastic weather that is caused by human influence. Yes I know, data suggests otherwise.

They lie.

The machinations of the climate modelers is unbelievable. I don't believe them. I am a scientist. NASA for decades.
I don't believe climatologists because they are engaged in bad science that has a very strong political component.

Simple. Don't feel guilty. Be conservative in your life. You, and all of us, will be OK.

There, feel better?

mr_right_wing 5 years ago

"But to say that humans can’t affect climate change is arrogant." (The definition of 'arrogant' is 'overwhelming pride' ... I don't think that is the word you wanted to use. We're too small and minute to mess up the climate is 'arrogant'? No... Perhaps 'ignorant' or 'irresponsible' or 'short-sighted' would have been better words.)

Gee...I've heard SCIENTISTS argue the opposite...we're being arrogant to say we can change the climate. (This would be a better use of that word. I may be 'arrogant' telling you how to use that word, but I cannot be considered 'arrogant' by saying I'm not smart enough to tell you how to use the word.)

Right now, with more snow on the way next week, I'm ready for earth to swing back to global warming!!

Jason Bailey 5 years ago

We waste water? Sorry, Mr. Biology but last time I checked, water simply changes states and moves through the water never leaves the cycle. So what's the issue?

We cut down more trees? Last time I checked, Mr. Check Your Facts Before Opening Mouth, there are more trees in North America today than when Columbus discovered the continent.

Do you know how shrill you and your side sound everytime you start spewing falsities like this to support your fantasy of anthropogenic global warming? This is a repeat of the Salem Witch Trials where true science is usurped by fear-mongering and profit...yet, profit. Those in charge of your movement are profiting heavily from the religion of global warming. Algore likes to talk about how armageddon is coming but continues to live in a house with a carbon footprint of about 50 families and jets all over God's green earth (yes, it's still green) in his private jet vs. taking a commercial jet.

Hypocrisy, lies, and arrogance = the modern day Witch Hunt and Guilt Trip that is the Global Warming Community.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Who can still believe the IPCC? "The Netherlands has asked the UN climate change panel to explain an inaccurate claim in a landmark 2007 report that more than half the country was below sea level, the Dutch government said Friday. According to the Dutch authorities, only 26 percent of the country is below sea level, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be asked to account for its figures, environment ministry spokesman Trimo Vallaart told AFP. The incident could cause further embarrassment for the IPCC, which recently admitted a claim in the same report that global warming could melt Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was wrong. IPCC experts calculated that 55 percent of the Netherlands was below sea level by adding the area below sea level -- 26 percent -- to the area threatened by river flooding -- 29 percent -- Vallaart said."

rtwngr 5 years ago

And another thing, Mr. Don't Know What I Am Talking About, the decline of population growth in the United States is contributing to the poor economic outlook for the next generation. It is a proven economic fact that when the older population is more numerous the younger population, the cost to the younger population for the support of the older population increases per capita. Don't tell me the "government" will take care of them because we (all of us) are the government. That's enough for now because I don't have the time or patience to give you a civics lesson today.

SnakeFist 5 years ago

The problem with conservatives is their incredible arrogance - they have opinions about things they know absolutely nothing about.

For example, jason2007, clearly doesn't know what an aquifer is or how long it takes to recharge. If you pump water from an aquifer faster than its recharge rate, and allow most of what you pumped to run into rivers and then into the ocean, then you have a lot less useable water.

Similarly, rtwnger thinks we can breed our way out of our problems - as long as every generation is larger than the last, everything will be just fine.

independant1 5 years ago

Good tit for tat. Mr. Biology it begs to be mentioned here that through technological determintaion we will survive as a species. We Humans will discover/invent/stumble across enough breakthroughs in science, despite the chicken little's o'day, to save our fragil our civilization. If you don't beleive that then we shouldn't be here now? The mini ice age this Feb. is fmao!

SnakeFist 5 years ago

Oh great, independant1 thinks we can depend on the technological lottery to solve all our problems. And who is going to create those life-saving technologies - the same scientists that are warning us about global climate change? The same scientists that you think are either lying or incompetent.

Jason Bailey 5 years ago

SnakeFist: You're right...I have no idea what an aquifer is but wait....the LTE writer wasn't mentioning an aquifer! Wow, way to insert words to attempt to bludgeon someone who makes comments you disagree with!

Who cares if we use more water? 75% of the planet is covered in water. Necessity is the mother of invention and it will soon become cost effective to de-salinate. Problem fixed.

You didn't even touch my comment about more trees today than in 1492, which the LTE used to support his point. The entire thing is full of religious nonsense -- the religion of environmentalism. Oh,'s the global warming working out with most of the US buried under record snows and historically cold winter temperatures?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.