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Letter

Response to global warming viewpoints

Thank you for including the page on global warming. The differences in viewpoints are a mixed bag that may well represent widely shared opinions.

Eric Blackmer makes an excellent presentation on the realities of global warming. Evidently he shares the viewpoint of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that limiting rising global temperatures to bearable limits (2 degrees C) has to be done within the next decades, lest it increases by up to 5 degrees, when life as we know it may become unsustainable. Whether it is possible for the major polluting countries to curtail the burning of fossil fuels anytime soon seems, judging by present increasing development (e.g. Canadian tar sands and the XL pipeline), highly problematic.

George Anderson’s piece on clean energy is very apropos. His criticism of the Federal Government’s requirement of adding ethanol to gasoline is spot on! Not only does the ethanol additive increase CO2 emissions, but also growing it takes huge amounts of arable land better used to produce food.

Hope Taylor’s viewpoint, under the heading “Global warming? — no problem” is a good example of the ignorance-is-bliss approach.

Then there’s John Lord’s pseudo-scientific analysis, in which he argues that earth’s geological history, as illustrated in the Grand Canyon, has undergone repeated, radical climatic changes during the 2.5 billion years before humans evolved. Therefore, “To think that we can do something to alter climate change is an erroneous, if understandable, conceit.” He concludes that “...coping with climate change is not only possible, it could even bring unexpected benefits. Keep calm and carry on.”

Mr. Lord’s opinion is consistent with and apparently rooted in disbelief of global warming, as revealed in his 2009 oped in the Ledger-Transcript. He followed that with an article entitled “Saving a Planet and a Lifestyle” in the Aug. 12, 2010 issue. His main beef was big-government programs, like “the Democrat-sponsored Cap and Trade energy bill,” imposed by bureaucrats: “All this, of course, to ‘save us’ from the hypothetical threat of global warming.” What I found most revealing in his article was this statement: “Everyone has their own personal hierarchy of environmental values, usually based more on their philosophy than on hard science.”

One of the main obstacles that is keeping the U.S. from taking a leadership role in addressing global warming is the political gridlock in Washington. Mr. Lord, a member of the Peterborough Republican Committee, is as Republican as they come. He could fit in seamlessly with nearly all the Republicans in the Senate who are still in denial of global warming.

Dick Estes lives in Peterborough.

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