Letters to the Editor

Letter: Stand disputed

June 11, 2014


I read the letter by Rabbi Moti Rieber and Rev. John Martin about “carbon pollution.” They praise the Environmental Protection Agency’s “stricter limits on climate pollution from (coal-powered) power plants.” Their concern is over “human-induced climate change.” Learned gentlemen: Aside from this causing higher energy bills, countless people in the coal industry losing their jobs, and with no viable energy substitute, just exactly what “climate change” are you talking about to justify this?

1) Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a prerequisite for life. 2) There hasn’t been any “global warming” for nearly 18 years, although CO2 levels continue to rise. 3) This current directly measurable trend of CO2 levels increasing following a warming period has been confirmed from proxy evidence as representing a consistent pattern over hundreds of thousands of years. This conclusion has followed analysis of atmospheric content in trapped bubbles in glacial ice cores (see Vostok ice core data). Increased CO2 levels follow warming periods, as opposed to preceding and thereby causing them. 4) There is no “97% consensus among climate scientists about (alleged) manmade global warming/climate change. 5) I hope that you learned gentleman have done more homework on the religious traditions you represent that you have in climate science.

I’ll help here: Visit ICECAP.US, and Climate Depot for a start. These sites contain valuable links to source material. Among other things, you might even learn about subterranean volcanic activity in western Antarctica now degrading a glacier there (but left out of a May 31 Journal-World story).


Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"with no viable energy substitute, " Not true there several choices in place and being installed as we speak. The coal and nuke people will simply move into the newer,cleaner and safer energy industry. That which can play a major role in rebelling the USA economy.

America has choices that ultimatlely reduce our cost of living and the cost of government.

Let’s get on with it The research has been done….. thankfully by a large group of scientists. Yes the USA and our citizens have many many choices.

A combination of new energy sources would produce cleaner and more efficient energy.

The Plan: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/renewing-americas-economy.html

Wind http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-wind-energy-works.html

Solar http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-solar-energy-works.html

Bio Mass http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-how-biomass-energy-works.html

Geo Thermal http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-how-geothermal-energy-works.html

Hydro Power http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-hydroelectric-energy-works.html

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Air pollution = global warming = Climate Change = cannot get away from this living the status quo.

We cannot listen to corprate polluters and their politicians/puppets. Politicans from both sides of the aisle accept too much money from polluters. Both are detrimental to the world’s well being. These politicians no matter which side of the aisle need to go bye bye.

Union of Concerned Scientists is a crediable source.

--- http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/how-corporations-corrupt-science.html

--- http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/cuccinelli-mann.html

Scott Burkhart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Do any members of this group receive funding for research on climate change, aka global warming, aka global cooling?

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Hmm. I would think I'd want professional researchers rather than amateurs, but the real question should be whether they're paid to post deliberately biased research. You know, like climate deniers do: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-koch-brothers-reveals-funders-climate.html

That's one of the reasons it's important to look at peer-reviewed studies and not just announcements groups fire off here and there to look like research. It turns out, when you do that, that the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed research supports the idea of human-induced climate change.

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

PS - if you don't like the phrase "climate change," you should blame Bush and conservative wordsmith Frank Luntz. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

How did we get here. My speculation looks like this.

Human made pollution brings on global warming which brings on Climate Change. Makes sense and lots of it…. I'd say.

While global warming has been a concern for many many many many many many many decades some things seem to be certain:

  1. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions of humans polluting planet earth

  2. Never before has there been billions upon billions of gasoline burning vehicles spewing pollution into the atmosphere

  3. Never before has there been billions of homes demanding energy from polluting sources

  4. Never before has there been billions of buildings demanding energy from polluting sources

  5. Never before has there been billions of polluting energy generating sources

  6. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans supporting the clearing of the rainforest for food products not knowing the long term impact of removing massive numbers of trees and medicinal plants.

  7. Never before has planet earth been expected to absorb tons and tons and tons and tons of pollution with human beings having no idea what the impact might be.

  8. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of human beings believing THEIR pollution is having zero impact ....... can we say ignorance is bliss.

  9. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans applying millions of gallons and or pounds of toxic chemicals to the landscapes.

  10. Air and water pollution are man made driven by ignorance that nature is invincible. All of us have been ignorant of this until some decided to learn that there may be a connection to the human wasteful lifestyles.

Scott Burkhart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Billions upon billions upon billions? Nice Carl Sagan impersonation, Heckler.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

1) Water is also a prerequisite for life; this does not change the fact that you can drown in it. Increased atmospheric CO2 can indeed improve plant growth, but limitations in phosphorus and nitrogen will limit the ability of the plant community to respond to this. Furthermore wherever increasing aridity develops due to higher temperatures, plant productivity drops off precipitously as well. Furthermore, increased atmospheric CO2 increases acidification of the oceans, which decreases the amount of phytoplankton and coral reef productivity. Phytoplankton are the primary source of our oxygen, something that might be worth watching, don't you think?

2) During that same time, ocean heat content continued to increase as quickly as ever, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have continued to shrink (I don't think you can blame both continents shrinkage on volcanism, can you?), sea levels are continuing to rise, species on land and in the ocean continue to shift poleward, and glacial mass continues to shrink globally. Now do you think that this 18 year hiatus has anything to do with the series of La Ninas that have occurred, during that same time period?

3) This has been shown to be an oversimplification, and when placed in its proper context, simply untrue. For details, check out http://skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

4) Yes there is. Get over it.

5) They have: check out the Kansas Interfaith Power and Light website or the national website for details. They represent the majority of religious humanity in their beliefs, a belief that has been reiterated by many religious leaders across the planet.

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The tipping point has been reached and we are all so screwed. Soylent Green. Will people in the future be able to say, "How could I have known?"

Dan Eyler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

These environmental wachos are amazing, so we have been told lately we have only a couple years to save the world from the ravages of man kind. In reality the environmentalist end game is to control the bahavior of man, and animal alike. Because no matter how hard they try they won't be able to change the natural climate change the earth goes through. The focus will always be on telling someone else how they should live to save the planet. Key point here, they must save the planet at the cost of any human or human way of life. The envirnmental religion may be this most dangerous of all.

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The environmental religion? You mean Christianity? Don't make me pull out my list of biblical passages calling for us to take care of the planet again.

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm so sorry you lost your Bible, Scott, although it does explain a few things. Here are a few, just for you:

Lev. 25:23-24.

Genesis 1:26.

Ezekiel 34:2-4.

Ezekiel 34:17-18.

Isaiah 24:4-6

Jer. 2:7.

Luke 16:2,10,13

Mark 4:19

Revelation 11:18.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, excuse me folks,

I thought folks might be interested in seeing what the data is really showing so folks could understand why the spoon fed explanations Mr. Smith is listing are distortions and flat out wrong. I thought the idea was to get to the bottom of the assertions and determine what the data is telling us, determine what analysis is most likely correct, and proceed from there.

Clearly from the comments made above, there is no interest whatsoever in either attempting to understand the issue of climate change by looking at the data and how they all fit together into an unambiguous picture of humans being the driving cause this time around. There is no attempt to counter the validity of the evidence or present an alternative that is more viable, rather there is only an interest in name calling and straw dog building.

Given this level of interaction, I see no need to engage any further--adios!

Scott Burkhart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Ken, once again there is no interest in going over skewed data that perpetuates a myth in order to bilk more funding from the public coffers. That's it in a nutshell. The facts are the models only tell us what those running the models want us to believe. You and your group lost any credibility when the term "Global Warming" ran out of steam and they pivoted to "Global Climate Change" because after Katrina and the Joplin tornado, the fear made it an easier sell. Horse manure, all.

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Right? Right? The Kochs still manage to keep fooling people with skewed data that perpetuates a myth of climate change denialism and they continue to get all those big oil subsidies from the public coffers. Great nutshell.

As far as the change in name, I'm sure you'd never never engage in such things. Never ever in a Frank Luntz focus grouped million years. After all, we know that changing the name of what you call a thing instantly changes the thing into something else. Verbal Transubstantiation. Keen.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Nutshell: well you said it, not me. Yes, Scott, we already know you have no interest in figuring out the truth of the matter by looking at the data, which you are simply unable to show is skewed. Models are something you love to hold up as the source of distortion without otherwise providing any alternative models that explain the facts. Even your hero, Freeman Dyson, has recently come out as a climate agnostic and readily admits he isn't keeping up with the tidal wave of refinements in the modeling and in the kinds of data that go into them.

James Howlette 9 months, 2 weeks ago

As already pointed out, you're dead wrong on every point you numbered, but I also wanted to point out that even if you insist on living in a fantasy world where climate change isn't real, coal jobs are still increasingly lost due to mining automation, not switches to alternative fuels. Plus coal jobs are terribly dangerous. I wouldn't wish black lung on anyone. Living near a coal plant sucks, whether you'e science literate or not. The air is horrible and unbreathable. Who wouldn't want to seek a better alternative to that? There is pretty much nothing about coal that doesn't deserve to be disrupted with a better technology.

We could replace those jobs with jobs creating and maintaining renewable energy sources. Why would you be against that? Why is being sustainable such a bad thing?

Chris Golledge 9 months, 2 weeks ago

See Table 1 http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

In terms of levelized costs, wind would be cheaper than coal, and nuclear about the same. Carbon capture and sequestration adds about $30/MWh which pushes it above solar photovoltaic.

Over the last 30 years, the kind of heat waves that have devastated agricultural yields have increased from covering less than 1% of the earth in an average year to covering about 10% of the earth. Shall we wait until there are a billion more mouths to feed and heat waves are typically covering 20% of the earth before starting to decrease our CO2 production?

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