LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I think it is obvious that Ben Visser is a right-wing conservative and being more mainstream myself, I find many of his articles quite irritating. His recent article about global warming, however, was over-the-top and frankly offensive (Global warming debate stifles progress).
His clumsy “shot-gun” analogy about the scientific data concerning climate change was very counterproductive. There is no longer any debate among credible scientists about the validity of global warming and the contribution of burning fossil-fuels exacerbating it. The debate is over!
The only uncertainty among scientists is the exact degree to which humans are contributing to it and exactly how long it will take and how much more temperature rise it will take before disaster happens. For example, they have recently discovered that the vast tundra is starting to melt in our polar regions, creating small lakes where there was ice before. At this point the uncertainty is exactly how much temperature rise will be required to thaw and release vast amounts of now frozen methane, which is roughly 25 times as bad as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Anyway, about the only thing that was factual in Mr. Visser’s article was when he admitted that he did “not have a clue.”
The Bush Administration which, as we all know, represented the oil and coal industries, tried to obfuscate the science of global warming for eight precious years during which progress could have been made. It is very analogous to the tobacco industry. By the early 1950s there had been done many scientific studies which proved that smoking was extremely deadly and addictive. The tobacco industry bought the politicians and came up with their own “scientific” studies to show that smoking might even be good for you and they did everything to confuse and cast doubt on the dangers of smoking. For the next 40 years millions of people died and millions more started smoking (who are not all dead yet). Finally, about 20 years ago, the tide turned and the tobacco companies were sued for hundred of billions of dollars and it became obvious to the masses that smoking was deadly because family members and famous actors had died from it.
Just suppose (for the non-believers) that global warming is a reality. Wouldn’t it be prudent to try to do something about it before it is too late? Or, do you think we should sit around and debate the scientific data while Rome (and our planet) burns?
Peter Mortensen, New Cuyama, Calif.