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Opinion

Bath reader questions ‘climate change’

2/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

No one doubts that the earth is gradually warming. This has been going on in fits and starts since the last ice age, and there [are] no claims of knowledge as to what caused that.

From as far back as we can reasonably look, man has kept some records on weather. From about 800 to 1200 AD, there was a warm period — Greenland was free of ice and was settled. A turn around then happened and a so-called “little ice age” occurred. That epoch is recorded as being four periods of chaotic weather which extended from 1280 until 1850. Man hasn’t claimed responsibility for any of this.

There was some talk that maybe all of the gun smoke in World War I had helped cause rain in Western Europe, but no government studies were developed. We stumbled along with what the weather gods gave us through World War II. But then, even after what man had done to the atmosphere in that conflict — lots of coal smoke, oil smoke, gasoline by-products, etc., we entered a cooling period. Scientists took note. They concluded the water vapor we were putting into the atmosphere (airplane contrails) was causing cooling to the extent that “we are going to freeze to death in the dark.” Government-financed studies were the salvation. We cancelled Boeing’s SST [supersonic transport], and Mother Nature did a 180. In the late 1970s, we began to warm. This had to be caused by our unregulated use of hydrocarbons. The term “global warming” became a terror-striking phrase. Warming continued until 1997 and then stopped. So did the use of the term “global warming.” A variety of catchword phrases now made the news. “Climate change,” of course, is the latest. We are indeed fortunate to have had such a dedicated cadre of government-funded studiers looking out for our (and their) well-being and even forming the new “save the planet” religion.

Let’s introduce some perspective into what is going on by using the dimensions of a football field to represent a graph. Sit down at the 50-yard line and look to your right. If we start at that goal and head left and drive to the 26-yard line from the left hand goal, we have represented nitrogen. Push back to the 7-yard line and we have oxygen. In the next 6 yards, 2 feet and 11 inches, we have neon, helium, methane, xenon, sulfur dioxide, ozone and water vapor. That last 1 inch represents carbon dioxide. Of that 1 inch, the thickness of a fingernail would be humanities contribution. Now that’s downright scary! Scary enough for the Environmental Protection Agency to declare it a poison gas — even though it is necessary for plants to use it to make our oxygen, and [it] is what we exhale.

What is scarier to me is that so many of us have declared amen, and joined the “save the planet” church with only the generalities of “the science is closed scientists” to go on. Let’s stop letting a self-serving group of people who get subsidies from the government to “study and advise” tell us how to live and how to use or not use our energy. Their mathematical models don’t work. They don’t even have terms for cloud cover or solar effects, and if applied to past data, don’t come close to predicting what actually happened. Their goals are far more political than scientific.

William Woodall, Bath

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