Printed Letters: April 27, 2014

NASA report says man-made climate change is debatable
Many should take issue with your editorial, “Hedging our bets on carbon emissions” printed on Wednesday. 

No one doubts that the climate has changed, does change and is changing. What many people doubt is that:

• it is caused by man

• it is any different than any other of the drastic changes in global climate that have occurred already

• expensive, economy-destroying government policies will have any effect, aside from shifting wealth into the coffers of politicians and their cronies.

Everyone should check the report by retired NASA scientists published at www.therightclimatestuff.com. The final report of these highly educated and experienced scientists and engineers was released on the web in February. Their first two conclusions:

• The science that predicts the extent of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is not settled science. 

• Our U.S. government is overreacting to concerns about anthropogenic global warming.

The behavior of the man-made global warming alarmists from the beginning has alerted me to the suspicion that they are not truthful. Throughout my engineering career, I have never dealt with a scientist or other expert who tried to shut down discussion by declaring that the “science is settled.”

No true scientist would ever make such a statement because It is contrary to the way in which science is practiced.

GEORGE E. CORT
Montrose


Manipulative politicians can control ignorant population
“Ignorance is pervasive” is part of a headline in a recent Sentinel article about what are considered scientific truths, and that is certainly the case here in the USA. Only 27 percent of Americans are extremely or very confident that Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Only 33 percent are confident that the average temperature of Earth is rising, and 31 percent are confident that all life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection.

The reason for this ignorance can be placed squarely at the feet of conservatives, especially those in the conservative media and in the political arena. Anyone who believes that ignorance is bliss can certainly get a receptive ear on the Fox News Channel or conservative talk radio. These media outlets often invite people on their show who will discount any kind of scientific truth because it doesn’t agree with their religious belief or political point of view. (Earth is only 6,000 years old? Really?)

Then there are the political entities in Congress, in states or on local school boards, especially in the woefully ignorant Southern states, who don’t believe in funding education at any level or who want to produce textbooks that will give ignorant ideas an equal discussion. (Creationism gets equal time or any time at all with the scientific theory of evolution in a science classroom? Seriously?)

This country can only be as great as the level of education that our people reflect. With a country filled with blissfully ignorant people, we can only be a second-class nation at best. Certainly the powerful conservative entities out there want it this way, as it is easier for them to manipulate and take advantage of the very people that they keep in ignorance.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

Workers’ union president aptly criticizes Keystone XL delay
Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, couldn’t have expressed it better April 18 when he said the following on President Barack Obama’s political policy regarding approval of Keystone XL:

“This is once again politics at its worst. In another gutless move, the Administration is delaying a finding on whether the pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process — and which has nothing to with the national interest. They waited until Good Friday, believing no one would be paying attention. The only surprise is they didn’t wait to do it in the dark of night.

“It’s not the oil that’s dirty, it’s the politics. Once again, the administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country. This certainly is no example of profiles in courage. It’s clear the Administration needs to grow a set of antlers, or perhaps take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.

“This is another low blow to the working men and women of our country for whom the Keystone XL Pipeline is a lifeline to good jobs and energy security.”

MIKE FOSTER
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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The Sentinel should print a correction. It is not a NASA report that says man-made climate change is debatable. The Sentinel should not publish factually incorrect information even as ‘opinion.’  The link provided in the letter is a website by a retired NASA aerospace engineer (not a climate scientist, of which NASA has plenty as well).  Here is the actual NASA site on climate change: http://climate.nasa.gov/ And here is a summary of the ‘evidence’ that climate change is both real and happening (currently) largely due to human activities.  http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence.  Opinion is great, but sound opinion is based on fact, not false information.  Publishing factually incorrect information on an important topic does a disservice to readers, even on the opinion page.

Here is some info on the not-a-NASA report https://www.skepticalscience.com/NASA-retirees-letter2.html

And, Mr. Ciha, your point is? If one believes in God as our supreme creator then they are wrong? That you hate FOX News? Do you have a TV remote that allows channel changing (in your case I recommend MSNBC)? An on/off switch? Unplug the dreaded TV? Surrounded by so many “ignorant and uneducated people” must surely be sickening. My recommendation, I am concerned about your health, is for you to move the hell out of AMERICA and live in the Eden of your 2d choice? Do NOT allow the door hit you in your @ss as you depart.

I was going to comment that the report in the climate denier’s letter to the editor was not a NASA report, but a report from someone who is NOT a climate scientist. But I see that someone beat me to it. Here is another link to the REAL NASA: http://science.nasa.gov/search/?q=Climate+change+man+made

The letter writer (re: global warming) may rely on sources that appear dubious at best; but, it appears to be a Sentinel headline error in labeling it a ‘NASA report’ as the author notes the authors are retired agency employees.

I don’t think we have a smog problem, but we do have a smug problem. It seems that conceit and smugness amongst pro climate changers is rising faster than world temperatures.

M. Todd, I am merely noting a factual assertion, that there is no NASA report saying man-made climate change is debatable. Rather it is some retired engineers that worked at NASA 20 years ago.  I have no reason to doubt their competence as Apollo-era rocket scientists, but that still does not make their study a ‘NASA report.’ It is an error, factually and demonstrably incorrect. The Sentinel should issue a correction as it appears to be their error and not the letter-writer, his reliance on dubious sources notwithstanding.

“NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry, including the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate,” the agency’s chief scientist, Dr. Waleed Abdalati, told The Huffington Post in an email. “As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue ‘claims’ about research findings. We support open scientific inquiry and discussion…If the authors of this letter disagree with specific scientific conclusions made public by NASA scientists, we encourage them to join the debate in the scientific literature or public forums rather than restrict any discourse.”  A scientist remains open to new “evidence” this is true, but does not ignore facts. Emotions must be set aside, and name calling is just juvenile. If one has specific peer -reviewed studies that one can share, as most climate studies are based, then one can engage in real dialog.  That is not smug….that is what we have based all science on for thousands of years. Everyone benefits from that honorable practice.

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