Printed letters, August 14, 2013
Lindsey Wilson, one of Environment Colorado’s federal field organizers in Denver, states that we have a problem with carbon pollution. Thus, our leaders are urged to get serious about solving global warming. In Colorado we already have moved to clean energy.
Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed 57 clean-energy bills into law. He now directs The Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. Although he took a big increase in pay, many in the state are not doing so well. William Yeatman, energy policy analyst for the Independence Institute in Denver, used Xcel’s regulatory filings and came up with a high cost for our new energy economy.
In 2012 alone, Xcel Energy spent nearly half a billion dollars on green energy in the state. This is $345 per ratepayer. On top of that, the depressed economy reduced consumption and the green energy was not needed.
If Congressman Scott Tipton and others go along with President Barack Obama’s climate action plan, our electric rates will go much higher. Coal power plants will shut down, but wind and solar will not be able to replace the lost energy. Gas-fired power plants will increase the demand and price of natural gas, boosting the cost of electricity and the cost for home heating.
I want to thank Tipton for listening to those of us in Colorado who have limited bank accounts.
Global warming worries aren’t supported by scientific data
In a letter to the editor Aug. 9, Lindsey Wilson calls for America’s leaders to “get serious about solving global warming” and to quit “ignoring the facts.” Ironically, it appears the environmentalists themselves ignore the facts.
In a March 30 article, The Australian reports a 20-year “hiatus” in the rise of global mean temperatures. This leveling of global temperatures is at the low end of the range of temperatures predicted by 20 climate models, and if it continues, this leveling will fall below the low range of projected temperatures within a few years.
The same article references a paper published by James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, that states the lower-than-expected surface temperatures between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased (yes, he said increased) emissions from burning coal.
David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation stated, “The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations.” He also said, “If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change.”
The fact that global surface warming has not followed the path predicted by climate models is widely accepted. This has occurred as carbon concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase.
Yes, we should be concerned about our environment. But we need to remember that climate models are computer simulations. The facts are beginning to prove them wrong. Draconian regulations to limit carbon emissions and that drag down the economy based on models that diverge from the facts seem very imprudent. But then again, true believers never let facts stand in the way of ideology.
Human behavior drives global warming threat
August marks the anniversary of Congressman Scott Tipton’s remarks about climate change. Last year he stated it would be futile to acknowledge that humans can affect climate change because it would “divide America.”
The difficulty with this point of view is that we know that current global warming is the result of human action. Deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels are the primary behaviors driving climate change. This relationship is accepted by 97 percent of climate scientists. Academies of science in every G-20 country have accepted this as fact. That’s as close to unanimity as possible in science, where skepticism is a professional responsibility.
Outside the university and government labs where most climate research is conducted, there’s a growing acceptance of the relationship between human behavior and global warming. This was recently extended to America’s two largest energy companies, Exxon Mobile and Chevron. On their corporate websites, both companies have sections about climate change and accept responsibility for the energy industry’s contributions to it.
Global warming is also recognized as a serious threat to our national security. The commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet has identified the impact of warming and the resulting increase in sea levels as the greatest new security threat in the Pacific region.
Our nation’s leaders cannot refuse to recognize global warming as an existing, long-term worldwide threat. If ignored, it will not go away but will only get worse. Our leaders must recognize that human, governmental action is necessary. America has to start adopting reasonable, cost-effective policies now to begin to reduce the threat.
I suggest that Exxon’s recommendation of a carbon tax would be a useful starting point for discussion in Congress. What does Tipton think?