Printed letters, August 20, 2013
The letters to the editor on Aug. 14 made me smile. What a great presentation of the division of opinions regarding “global warming” or “climate change.”
You have to love the never-ending parade of “consensus,” “scientists,” “experts,” “studies,” “models” and apparently qualified “facts” that both sides of this issue throw around like a puppy tossing a toy. An example is the phrase, “accepted by 97 percent of climate scientists.” And all this time I thought it was only accepted by 95.31 percent.
It appears that many have strong opinions based on so-called facts that are all centered upon mankind’s seeming massive influence on our entire planet — well, at least the climate. It’s a big planet and the planet has been here a really long time compared to the brief instant mankind has been around.
Before we (modern man — not historic man — historic man never seems to be included in any of the climate change “facts”) started supposedly “changing” things, the planet went through the equivalent of climate changes almost unimaginable to us. We’re on the warming side of one of those small changes now (the mini-ice age that began warming 10,000 to 12,000 years ago). Is there global warming? Absolutely! There has been for multiple thousands of years.
I find it hard to believe that we, as incredibly temporary inhabitants of this planet, have reached anywhere near the level of actions (i.e., burning carbon-based fuels, thereby emitting enough CO2 into the atmosphere) that will have a lasting impact on this great big planet.
I have nothing against anyone being eco-friendly. I do have a real problem with others attempting to dictate that I must be heavily taxed because others think they know so much about what they don’t know.
Consider fracking’s impact on the quality of our water
“In the West, when you touch water, you touch everything.” — Wayne Aspinall.
The most important economic engines in western Colorado in the recent past have been agriculture, extraction and tourism.
Agriculture’s long-term stability is based on the simple fact that if our farmers or ranchers maintain the health of their land, and the climate (including upstream water) cooperates with them, they will succeed in a peaceful life of productive individual initiative, and, as a very nice perk, feed the rest of us. This sun-powered engine can run indefinitely.
Extraction, like a flashy hotrod, has always been a short-term, boom-and-bust economic engine with almost the same romantic effect on us.
The two reasons for this are:
— In order for extraction to be profitable, it usually requires large initial investments — often more than the local economy can afford. Money that comes from outside the extraction area invariably brings with it profit requirements of distant investors.
Apart from the high-paying, short-term jobs created by such projects, distant investment goals often end up at odds with the long-term happiness of people who live in or near an industrialized area.
— After whatever the distant investors wanted has been extracted and the profits distributed, there is little or no incentive to undo the sometimes-devastating effects of extraction on the local environment.
Other than his final profits, will a CEO in Norway (the Fram project currently before the BLM is partly owned by a Norwegian firm) or Canada or China care anything about the long-term water quality in the Grand Valley?
We in the Grand Valley should be asking ourselves. How much money would it take to clean benzene or some other carcinogen out of our aquifer? How could anyone even begin to correct such a horrifically destructive problem?
Area 51 workers deserve respect for ‘silent labor’
The article in the Sentinel on Page A5 Saturday, about Area 51 in Nevada, contained too much silly speculation. As one who worked sometimes in the vicinity, there is much of value to report. Here is one source that pays more attention to the facts. www.area51specialprojects.com.
I hope your readers will check it out and pay their respects to the workers and those who lost their lives in the service of freedom. Below is from the site’s introduction.
“Honoring the legacy of the men and women at Groom Lake and on the NASA High Range in Nevada, the battleground of the Cold War. This site is dedicated to the memories of our band of brothers, especially those we lost in the CIA U-2 and A-12 Projects Aquatone and OXCART at Groom Lake, during Operation Black Shield at Kadena, Okinawa, and on the NASA High Range.
“For it is the lot of some men to be assigned duties about which they may not speak. Such work is not for every man. But those who accept the burdens implicit in this silent labor realize a camaraderie and sense of value known to few. These memories cannot be stolen. They will last always, untarnished, ever better.”
Col. Larry McClain, former commander at Groom Lake.
GEORGE E. CORT