Letters to the Editor

Global warming vs. Fox-style punditry | Federal Way letters

In his April 19 letter to the editor titled “Iceland volcano and an ice-covered Federal Way,” Leo J. Thoennes of Federal Way stated: “The Earth has always gone through warming and cooling periods. In fact, at one time, ice from the North Pole covered much of the United States. Yes, it even covered Federal Way. Now for the last 14,000 years, the Earth is going through a warming period. There is nothing you or I can do about this fact. Reducing CO2 emissions from our automobiles is certainly not going to stop global warming.”

The first part may be true. However, the second part is debatable to say the least. He infers that the answer to global warming is to do nothing, that we should just accept it and the consequences to its effect. Is that “the answer???”

There are still those individuals (and many are on Fox News) that still deny that global warming exists in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. To get the facts, go to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Fact Checker.

To cite three examples: Rush Limbaugh has stated “When I talk to people who believe in this global warming crap...it’s fake science. They may have educations and degrees that say they are scientists, but they’re not. They’re political hacks and leftists.” (The Rush Limbaugh Show, Dec. 11, 2009).

UCS Factcheck: The overwhelming consensus of more than 1,250 authors and 2,000 scientific expert reviewers from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as 18 American scientific associations, is that global warming is observably happening and a growing threat to our world. Sarah Palin stated: “While we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.” (Washington Post op-ed, Dec. 9, 2009).

UCS Factcheck: The long-term global average temperature is rising too rapidly to be attributed to any natural cycles. But Palin is right that we can’t say that any man’s activities cause weather changes because there is a significant scientific difference between short-term weather patterns and long-term climate change — and climate change is real. Sean Hannity stated “Global warming is a crock...and a huge cover-up. (2009) is the ninth coldest year that we have recorded.” (His show, Dec. 1, 2009).

UCS Factcheck: The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, among others, report the scientific fact that 2009 was actually one of the warmest years on record.

If Mr. Thoennes' solution to global warming was the “answer” to the problem, why would global leaders from across the world waste their time at conferences to discuss and resolve this issue? The answer is they know it is a scientifically-proven world problem and that if we do not address and resolve it — and we are talking short-term, not long-term, and how to do that is the $64 million question – then it could have catastrophic consequences for our world.

But if the Mayans are right and what the movie “2012” portrays comes true in December 2012, Mr. Thoennes is right — we don’t need to do anything.

Gary Robertson, Federal Way

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