Letters to the Editor

Letter: Climate concern

June 7, 2014


To the editor:

We are Kansans and members of the clergy, from many different religious traditions. Together, we raise our voices in support of new standards to put stricter limits on climate pollution from power plants. We call for this action due to threat posed to all of God’s creation by human-induced global climate change. 

The costs of inaction are already apparent. Children, the elderly and the poor are most vulnerable to a range of climate-related health effects, including those related to heat stress, air pollution, extreme weather events, and disease. 

The Environmental Protection Agency this week released a draft of the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from already-existing power plants — the largest source of carbon pollution. Working together, we can meet these standards through common-sense solutions like increasing energy efficiency, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, modernizing and retooling our power plants, retiring the dirtiest and oldest plants, and spurring innovation that will create green jobs in Kansas. 

As people of faith, we believe it is our moral responsibility to care for all that has been entrusted to us. That is why we join together with millions of Americans in support of strong carbon limits for power plants. 


Richard Heckler 4 years ago

The USA has many other sources of energy that could be put on lines as we speak to replace the most expensive and most polluting.

Faces of Clean Energy http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/

Blue print for a Clean Energy Economy http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-2030-roadmap-front-matter.pdf

Placing A Price On Global Warming Emissions http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-2030-roadmap-chapter-3.pdf

Flipping The Switch To Cleaner Electricity http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-2030-roadmap-chapter-5.pdf

Dan Eyler 4 years ago

I am pretty certain there are no Christian churches that allow a Jewish rabbi to speak for them. So please Rabbi who are the other 60. The impact of the EPA on the poor and elderly won't improve their health, but it will cause their heating, cooling and food bills to skyrocket. The one you worship, Barack Hussein Obama told us early in his presidency that he would bankrupt the coal industry and cause energy bills to rise sharply. I will be looking for the good Rabbi and the band of faith based justice seekers to lobby Topeka and Washington DC to increase welfare spending to cover the energy and food costs for the elderly, the poor and those who will become poor because of the socialist, communist agenda of the Rabbi and his so called faith base group. Dear Rabbi please do share with us all the other 60 men and congregations you speak for, who like yourself worship the environment and the federal governments policies to protect us with justice. Please tell us all the God you and the band of 60 worship. who is your God of the environment who will set this all straight?

Ken Lassman 4 years ago

I really can't believe I'm reading what you said, Dan. Did you not notice that a reverend co-wrote and signed off on this letter? Since you asked, there is a group called Kansas Interfaith Power and Light, which is a state chapter of the national Interfaith Power and Light organization. They represent what I consider to be the majority of religious institutions and leaders who not only believe that climate change is real, they also agree that the evidence supports that human activities are the driving force behind it and that it threatens the health and diversity of creation, which is why they are so concerned. If you want the complete list of ministers, pasters, rabbis and other religious institutions who have signed onto this letter, you can find it here: http://kansasipl.org/2014/06/open-letter-from-kansas-clergy-in-support-of-the-new-carbon-safeguards-on-coal-fired-power-generation/

Mike Ford 4 years ago

I love when people invoke the Hussein nonsense. By the way on President Obama's Euro-American side he and I share an ancestor, Thomas Francis Blossom who lived with the Pilgrims in 1620's Massachusetts Colony. My grandmother's maiden name was Blossom and she traces back to Thomas Francis Blossom. Please don't let facts get in the way of your slurs.

Ken Lassman 4 years ago

I never said that they or I was speaking for all religions involved--that's impossible. Our country was founded on the principle of religious freedom, and if you want to cast these religious institutions as being part of the "coexist group" like the bumper sticker, then you should put our founding fathers in that same group. And by the way, there are many of those religious groups who signed that letter that are both anti-abortion and for protecting the environment against climate change since in their eyes both are God's creation and deserving of protection. Maybe you need to do your homework before condemning so quickly something you apparently know very little about.

Chris Golledge 4 years ago

Re: "...socialist ideas such as the environmental movement that like most socialist and communist movements claims the facts and any who disagree are out of step. "

The foundations of the science dealing with how our atmosphere affects the energy balance of the earth were laid down 200 years ago by Fourier, 150 years ago by Tyndall, and 100 years ago by Arrhenius. So, yes, if you are at least 100 years behind the facts, you are out of step.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Wow, Dan. Just wow. Both Jews and Christians can appreciate God's commandments to be good stewards for the Earth and take care of God's creation. It's pretty amazing that your first conclusion is "I am pretty certain there are no Christian churches that allow a Jewish rabbi to speak for them." and then accusing the rabbi of being a liar. Wow.

Lev. 25:23-24.

Genesis 1:26.

Ezekiel 34:2-4.

Ezekiel 34:17-18.

Isaiah 24:4-6

Jer. 2:7.

And then your second conclusion is that it's all somehow a communist thing. Perhaps you should study up on exactly what communism is. Your definition seems to be just "anything with which I disagree." Hint: government regulation of emissions is not "communism" or "socialism." There's no ownership of the means of production in that situation. It's no more communist than telling someone they're not allowed to dump poison into their neighbor's yard.

The notion that economic gains should trump the environment, which seems to be your thesis - hard to tell. You jump around so much with Obama hate, random insults, and illogical conclusions. You seem troubled by the idea that the coal industry would die. Lots of industries die over time and with progress. Let's weep a bit for the ice house industry, shall we?

Anyway, it seems to me that the New Testament wouldn't view sacrificing the environment for the sake of the coal industry very favorably, either. You can't serve both God and Mammon, Dan.

Luke 16:2,10,13

Mark 4:19

Revelation 11:18.

Now it could well be that you'll suggest a non-government solution that will make carbon-plants reduce emissions. Please do tell us about your solution. Write a letter to the editor. Solutions, not insults Dan. And pretending that the problem doesn't exist or that we have no moral obligation to solve it does not count as a solution.

Mike Ford 4 years ago

The moral imperialist wing of Christianity who lets Phill Kline speak for them doesn't want anyone theologically educated speaking for them. They're content behind religion to judge minorities and act as if every person is for themselves and they are destined for a greater place spiritually . My background is being a PK from 1970 to 1991 being born and raised at St. Paul's School of Theology in KCMO and moving eleven times by age 21 through four states.

I witnessed how evangelicals were hitched to the GOP in 1970's Louisiana and Mississippi. I've witnessed how this hitching exists now and to many posters on this site. Science is a gift of observation and thought given to human beings by God according to many thinking people of faith . Human responsibility plays into whether this gift is used to help whole populations wanting the greater good for all or whether the gift is corrupted by people desiring greed and control as I've witnessed locally when a student from a parochial school near Ottawa, KS, announced that he was watching political debate and documenting it with a grant from the Koch Family Foundation (His words) that the three of us attended.

Having spent three years on the edge of the Calcasieu River swamp in Moss Bluff, LA, as a PK and going back to Pascagoula, MS, to grandparents I'm familiar with the ravages of climate change. Sea level rise affects areas that are less than 15 feet above sea level as Moss Bluff and Pascagoula are. My grandparents were in a FEMA trailer from late 2005 to the fall of 2007 in Pascagoula post Katrina. I read about the Isle of St, Jean Biloxi-Chitimacha Indians whose island home is sinking and who are becoming refugees of global warming in Louisiana. This is the case with Inupiat people who hunt and fish along the Alaskan coast and the citizens of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

I will confess to not being the greatest science student at Manhattan High School (KS) in 1984-85 but this is something I remember. They taught us about climate change during Reagan (UH OH). The sun reflects energy to the earth's surface and when this energy is trapped due to smog caused by manmade pollution from cfcs and coal by products the energy stays in our atmosphere thereby creating what? climate warming which causes the oceans to warm which give hurricanes in the gulf more energy like Katrina and Rita had to create havoc and causes ocean temperatures to rise causing problems with reefs and more powerful storms in the Pacific which come ashore and eventually go to the Great Plains and cause stronger tornadoes. When did sticking one's head in the sand become a viable option? even a local GOP US Representative, Lynn Jenkins, adheres to this belief.

These religious figures realize we're past the damage point and can't afford to throw up uninformed subject change denial like I've witnessed here. Someday some people will not realize they had an opportunity to act and didn't. It will be too late.

Dan Eyler 4 years ago

There are equally as many scientists who disagree with the human impact of climate changes. These changes have come and gone since the beginning of time. But to bring this in as part of justice is ridiculous. The impact of eliminating the use of fossil fuel with absolutely no affordable alternative enslaved the poor and elderly to very high cost of energy needed to heat and cool their homes, fuel their vehicles, and feeding their children, putting for burden for this squarely on the tax payer which end drives even more into poverty. Your socialist attempt of demonizing those who disagree with your sky is falling approch to the climate is so typical of the progressive left. In the mean time corporations and the traders of energy credits are using the artificial climate crisis to get rich as the socialist progressives give them a pass as they jet set the world wide. It are these religious leaders who support this fraud. I guess thes energy traders who the middle-class are not allowed to participate are simply a necesary evil that is needed to drive the alternative earth first movement and deny the impact on the most needing cheap energy. As you move on to Topeka and Washington for taxes to offset the cost to the less fortunate ever increases in energy, your social justice initiatives draw funding from core services needed by the needy. In reality your justice comes in the form of economic and wealth redistribution. These religious leaders, jewish, Christian, or Muslim are simply finding there place in the flow of someone else's money whether rich or poor.

Chris Golledge 4 years ago

a) Not one scientist in the last 150 years has shown Tyndall to be wrong. And if Tyndall is correct, then adding more CO2 to the atmosphere changes the energy balance of Earth. Unless there is something wrong with the law of conservation of matter, the extra CO2 is ours. b) Yes, when the meteorite struck Earth 65 mya, the climate change dramatically and swiftly. Another catastrophic event was when the Siberian Traps let go 250 million years ago and changed the carbon cycle. So, what, climate has happened before; therefore, humans can't be causing it today? Fire existed before man; therefore, no fires are started by man?

Shawn Herrman 4 years ago

Well said, Dan! The environment is very important to all of us and to our future generations. Unfortunately, some people use any means necessary to create bigger government and deeper pockets for those who proclaim they are doing this for the environment.

Chris Golledge 4 years ago

You're right; it's a bad plan. What's your plan?

James Howlette 4 years ago

Oh, Dan, Dan, Dan. There are not equally as many scientists who disagree with the human impact of climate changes. 97% of climate scientists agree. Climate change is real and caused by humans. http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus Just because other things (like volcano eruptions or meteor crashes) can cause climate change doesn't mean that humans aren't causing climate change right now.

Eliminating fossil fuels would not "enslave" the poor and elderly, nor is it true to say that we have no affordable alternatives to fossil fuels or that the cost of those alternatives would not drastically decline with the economics of scale. It's also unreasonable to imagine that climate change wouldn't have a far worse impact on economics. In fact, it's already having a tremendous impact: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/26/climate-change-damaging-global-economy So the real way to enslave the poor and elderly would be to continue being bad stewards to the Earth and not fix what we are doing wrong.

Again. Please learn what "socialism" actually means while you ironically try to demonize everyone who disagrees with you. Nobody is proposing that the government assume the means of production. Regulating pollution is not socialism.

Although I'm a bit confused if you think it's socialism or economic opportunism, because under socialism, the aim would be to create less of a wealth gap through commonly owned means of production, but you seem to be arguing (again, ironically) that some industries would be using tax rebates to become very wealthy and that somehow there's a global conspiracy to enrich a few. So which is it? Oligarchy or socialism? I get so confused about what the evil progressives are supposed to be cackling about when they twirl their curly mustaches these days.

Mike Ford 4 years ago

Using socialist and progressive as a slur.....really.....having seen the evidence in person of whole environments like southern Louisiana being destroyed by companies and state's rights governments making deals with the devil I do know better than you. You've never visited your grandparents in a FEMA trailer have you? I grew up seeing damage after Hurricane Frederic in 1979 in Pascagoula and seeing the damage after Elena and Georges later. Katrina was worse than Camille and there was still Camille damage evident when I first visited my grandparents in Pascagoula in 1974 some 5 years after that Hurricane hit the MS Gulf Coast. It puzzles me why some people are such pawns for the industries that destroy their environment and livelyhoods. The ones I've encountered are over 90 % GOP. I went to google earth tonight and saw St. Jean Charles Island where the Biloxi-Chittimacha- Choctaw Confederacy Tribe has resided since the first Europeans pushed them to the end of Louisiana lands in the 1790's. These people have been pushed and polluted by European immigrants to this day and will be global warming refugees if nothing changes. I would love to put a denier in their position to get the point across. Global warming is causing the sea rise that will cover their thin spit of land in the next century. Companies like BP destroyed the ecosystem that these people and other coastal Indians could both subsist and make a living from until the last fifty years. Flood control from people living in flood prone areas along the Mississippi River to the north stops the silt that keeps the land high from coming and thus leading to a loss of wetlands and land above sea level. In a way this is no different than the water addicts in western Kansas who will not stop until the Ogallah Acquifer is dry and the same clowns are pushing a coal plant that will need water for slurrying in a dry area. When does stupid stop? One cannot proclaim freedom when this freedom is wanted to promote damage derived from little or no thought and cowardly subject changing which is the GOP position on climate change. We're past the point of denial and yet people still deny.... nice.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

I see a huge flock of canards, so vast that it blocks out the sun.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Yeah, Dan's posts are pretty unbelievable.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

If you think I was talking about Dan's post then that another thing you are totally wrong about.

James Howlette 4 years ago

If you missed the sarcasm, that's another thing you were totally wrong about. Your late-to-the-party-one-line-insult posts are boring. The least you could do is be both wrong and interesting.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

"... Americans are being urged to submit to "dictatorial" government because democracy is incapable of controlling the weather. "In college classes, climate change is taught as a textbook example of where democracy fails," Graves asserts in the very first sentence of her column. Well, that settles it. America might have been a noble experiment, but science has proven it a failure. "Science is science," Obama tells the New York Times's Thomas Friedman. "And there is no doubt that if we burned all the fossil fuel that's in the ground right now that the planet's going to get too hot and the consequences could be dire." Friedman asked: "Do you ever want to just go off on the climate deniers in Congress? 'Yeah, absolutely,' the president said with a laugh." Hardy har har. There are, to say the least, some problems here. Most important, appeals to scientific authority ought to fall on deaf ears unless the science is conducted honestly, which entails acknowledgment of uncertainty and respect for alternative hypotheses. In this regard, the demonization of "skeptics" should raise an alarm for anyone who takes science seriously. Skepticism is the essence of the scientific method..." http://online.wsj.com/articles/best-of-the-web-today-springtime-for-warmists-1402342775

James Howlette 4 years ago

That's the best you have? A conservative opinion writer in the WSJ with absolutely no scientific expertise who cites a few newspaper articles (not peer-reviewed science) to back up his point that 97% of scientists are mean and so are a few people who follow the science, so therefore they couldn't possibly be correct about climate change? Boy, I hope nobody shows up at their parties claiming that lizard people are implanting us with mind control devices, because if those big bad scientists are mean, we can only conclude that the lizard people are real.

Got any more canards for us?

Mike Ford 4 years ago

i would rather submit to people who observe than people who stick their heads in the ground and talk anyway. Submitting is part of the right paranoia. No ones tries to get you to submit to anything other than opening you eyes, turning off thr am radio, taking off your tin foil hat, and actually thinking. This is so threatening right?

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