Archive for Monday, April 22, 2013

Letter: Earth’s not flat

April 22, 2013


To the editor:

It’s time to accept the science regarding climate change: It’s happening, and humans are the cause.

Some people are still “debating” whether we made it to the moon or whether the earth is flat. But these are not reasonable, informed discussions. The debate regarding climate change is similarly absurd.

Jim Powell, who was a member of the National Science Board for 12 years (first appointed by President Reagan, then reappointed by President George H. W. Bush), conducted a search of peer-reviewed articles published between 1991 and 2012. Of the 33,690 authors who contributed to these articles, only 34, about 0.1 percent, “clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming.”

Why do a few noisy individuals continue to reject the science of climate change? Perhaps it’s because they feel that there’s no solution and it’s too overwhelming to consider.

Well, good news, there’s a simple solution that effectively addresses climate change: a revenue-neutral carbon tax. This is a market-based solution which would drive the economy to renewables, create new jobs and protect the poor and middle class by returning all collected revenue to Americans on an equitable basis. Learn more at

As we celebrate Earth Day 2013, it’s time to end the “debate” about climate change. The world is round, we made it to the moon, climate change is real and humans are to blame. Humans also have the capability to remedy the situation – so let’s go for it!


Paul R Getto 5 years, 2 months ago

The war on science has nothing to do with science and everything to do with ideology.

hedshrinker 5 years, 2 months ago

climate change has little to nothing to do with one day's weather and please note it's NOT global warming, it's bizarre, irrational, unpredictable, abnormal weather events occuring with alarming frequency: Katina, Sandy, deluges/floods, drought, EXTREMES.

rtwngr 5 years, 2 months ago

Sure, that's what the redistribution socialists are calling it now because the whole global warming myth has been debunked. First it was and advancing ice age. Then came man made global warming. Now it's "climate change". It's all a bunch of "malarky" as your vice president would say. You call these extremes and I can point to decade after decade of "extremes" that have nothing to do with CO2 emissions, the Easter Bunny, or the guy behind the curtain that goes by the name of The Great Oz.

ebyrdstarr 5 years, 2 months ago

They started out calling the phenomenon "global warming" because the Earth's temperature is rising in a way that experts in this stuff who track it can tell, but maybe the rest of us wouldn't notice. Then they realized that calling it that made it too easy for people like you to make silly comments like, "Global warming? Look outside, it's freezing!" So they realized it was a good idea to come up with a better descriptor based on the effects humans will notice, hence "Climate change."

But I doubt there is any name they could come up with that would get you to acknowledge what 99% of scientists in the field now accept as basic fact.

tolawdjk 5 years, 2 months ago

You say that now, but when the White Walkers show up south of the wall...

Clark Coan 5 years, 2 months ago

According to an April 18 article in the Wall Street Journal, things do look good.

"As energy consumption has grown, this means total global emissions of CO2 rose 445 from 1990 to 20110, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday...The IEA estimates that a cut in carbon emissions per unit of energy of more than 60% is needed to prevent global average temperatures rising by more than 3.6 degrees F in the long term, and maintain current levels would yield a temperature rise of 10.8 F."

"China and India accounted for 955 of the growth in global coal demand in 2000 to 2011, the IEA said...This month, the Asian Development Bank warned that Asia's use of fossil fuels was likely to keep rising for the next 20 years, doubling the region's carbon output by 2035 and leaving the prospects for emissions control looking grim."

George Lippencott 5 years, 2 months ago

Well I agree with you on all but your last. I challenge your “We know what to do” statement.

If we do all the things that have been promoted exactly what do we achieve? Do we slow down the change? Do we reverse it?

Exactly what will be the standard of living if we do enough to actually arrest change? Will it be more acceptable then living with the change?

The rest of the world seems to have turned its back on remediation. Can we solve this problem alone? Must we reduce our standards to that of a third world (maybe second world) country?

Before we start talking about real sacrifice could somebody specify the end point? Or is the end point so dire that we are afraid to discuss it because it will be immediately rejected?

I am not comfortable with going somewhere when I do not know where!!

Chris Golledge 5 years, 2 months ago

Can you tell us exactly where continuing business as usual will take us?

The effects we have already seen are just the tip of the iceberg; you can rest assured business as usual will take us into the unknown. So, you are advocating that we choose your unknown against what the vast majority of researchers are telling us would be a better unknown. Why should we believe that you know more than them?

hedshrinker 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually, the US is consistently one of the few holdouts on the climate science protocols; almost all other nations have signed on...what are we afraid of? I guess it's like the conservatives who think there's some UN conspiracy that will neutralize US sovereignty.So Moderate I don't understand yr statement about the rest of the world turning its back on remediation. Scandinavian countries have dandy wind energy stored in batteries and incentive programs to get the public converted from the gas auto to electric, etc. I don't think that makes them a third world country.

kernal 5 years, 2 months ago

"I am not comfortable with going somewhere when I do not know where!!" Do we ever really know where we're going? Too many variables.

Yes, our species is the main contributor to climate change by our arrogance, denial and excesses. Unfortunately, the U.S. was the leader in all this and now we need to lead the way to reduction, because the longer we put off acting on this, the worse the economic disaster will be for everyone, not just the U.S. or Africa or China, but Every One. Every country with a sea coast will experience loss of coastal land which will displace millions of people and affect industry and farming. Then there's the desertification taking place.

We've messed up, people. Bother!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 2 months ago

Our science outruns our sense as a species. Just because we discovered hydrocarbons doesn't mean we must exploit them at all costs. A reasonable transition can be arranged, but we are argumentative and selfish chimps. It won't be easy, if it can be done.

George Lippencott 5 years, 2 months ago

"Can you tell us exactly where continuing business as usual will take us?"

Love it. The bear is charging me so I should jump of the cliff??!!

All I am asking is that the "scientists" demanding remediation quantify what that must be and where it leads us. I get cute responses but never a real answer. Why should I believe you that charging off to wherever is better than a more measured and focused effort with goals and time tables - like normal scientists actually employ?

Chris Golledge 5 years, 2 months ago

So, the answer to my first question is 'no', and the answer to my second question is ...nothing. You haven't given us any reason to believe you know more than the last 100-150 years of scientists, yet you persist; why?

Chris Golledge 5 years, 2 months ago

Let's cut this short. Try to understand there is no certainty exactly where either path will take us, but by all reckoning worth a darn, BAU is far more dangerous to us than changing our path. We know that continuing BAU is in effect jumping off the cliff, and you are saying, but at least it is easier to go downhill.

George Lippencott 5 years, 2 months ago

There you go again. I agree that we need to change our path. I believe we owe a discussion of where that leads us. This is a typical resource allocation decision and it is not either /or

How much do we spend and on what to mediate.

How much and on what do we spend to accommodate.

We are a resilient species. We can accommodate - there may be a lot fewer of us at the end state but a bums rush driven by incomplete science is most certainly not the way to go!

Chris Golledge 5 years, 2 months ago

And there you go again making assumptions and assertions that any change being proposed is an ill-considered, rash decision, and demanding exact certainty about the future knowing full well that no one can predict the future with absolute certainty.

It should be fairly simple to understand that the less we degrade the environment (in which we grow food), the more people will survive. I, for one, and willing to accept that more people surviving is a better outcome than less people surviving. Delaying action is a sure way to increase the degradation of the environment relative to taking steps to reduce our fossil fuel use.

George Lippencott 5 years, 2 months ago

Well we do not agree on this either

  1. The only way we should increase in numbers is if we can provide a decent standard of living to the populace while providing for acceptable impact on our environment (essentially self sustaining). WE reduce our population over time until we do or requisition the replicators on the "Enterprise".

  2. I am not making assumptions. I am asking you to quantify the end state and the path to get there.. No trust me cards to allow you to have an unrestricted ability to change my life without any idea of where that is going.

  3. I do not believe the remediation offered so far is adequate to constrain or reduce carbon generation. Data reflects that. So exactly what additional measures are required to constrain or reverse the consequence of carbon?

  4. It is just rational to rein in our excess zeal for more than we need. But even that has vast implications. Do we go to "from each according to their ability and to each according to their need"? If not how do we decide how much is enough and how the enough gets distributed?

I am tired of the constant yelping of "charge" without and real notion of in what direction and against what enemy. From the data I have seen I am not alone.

Centerville 5 years, 2 months ago

Letter makes the scientific method sound like a prom queen election.

rtwngr 5 years, 2 months ago

The flat Earth theory was bad science based on too little facts. So is "climate change". Formerly global warming. Formerly advancing ice age. Emissions of "green house" gases from nature exponentially dwarf those of humans. This is a fact! Any given active volcano, by itself, emits more "green house" gases into the atmosphere than the entire planet combined on an annual basis. Oh how filled we are with our own self importance to believe that we are mightier than nature itself. That we lowly humans can effect climate on a global scale. Sure, and I can make it rain.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 2 months ago

Really? The evidence has been building for over 100 years. Ignoring evidence that invalidates your position, and accepting things that are totally inaccurate, like your bit on volcanoes, does not mean that the evidence does not exist.

Here is a test. Can you identify any of the recent major eruptions on this graph of CO2 content?

If what you say were true, would you not see spikes in CO2 content associated with Pinatubo, Mt Saint Helens, etc?

rtwngr 5 years, 1 month ago

You prove my point. There were no spikes despite massive infusions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You really should look at the chart again.

It shows steadily increasing concentrations of CO2 over the last 40-50 years, consistent with our releasing more of that into the atmosphere.

What it doesn't show are spikes associated with volcanic eruptions, as you predicted.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Lynate Pettengill is among the locally informed. Her letters do not come with nonsense and have been correct throughout the years. Lynate Pettengill is supported by her brothers and sisters at Union of Concerned Scientists.

Big Picture Solutions

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With your support, UCS finds practical big-picture solutions to avert the worst consequences of global warming.

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Water 5 years, 1 month ago

Just how many humans are necessary for us to do whatever it is we are doing? It's time to start depicting the human growth timeline with decreasing animal populations on the same graph. There was a time people would see domesticated farm animals in the city. People rode horses in the city. Now, people complain about the neighbor's cat in their yard or a dog at the farmer's market. We have become indifferent towards the extinction of animals we do not encounter our daily lives. The human race is a success at over 7,000,000,000 people on earth. Why do we have fertility clinics? There's victims living in squalor all over the place. Adopt one should you have the [need] to be a mom. Why wait until we're dining on Solient Green?
The dichotomy between access to energy sources and a clean environment will not resolve with an ever increasing human populace.

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