Letters to the Editor

Letter: The risks of denying climate change

To the Editor:

A recent letter contesting the effect of human beings on the Earth’s changing climates has several flaws. The first paragraph of his letter is just a polemic in which he makes claims without proof. In the second paragraph, he states that belief in climate change has become “a cash cow for the connected.”

“The government subsidies to start up green endeavors have made the few very wealthy but have contributed little, if anything, to the stated purposes.” Which few? What purposes?

Illinois recently has enacted the Future Energy Jobs Act, the stated purpose of which is to increase solar energy production. Additional benefits will include increased jobs, lower energy costs to people and companies hard pressed to cope with electrical bills, and (not least) a cleaner environment.

What is it the writer is against? More jobs? Lower electrical bills? A more breathable atmosphere?

I’m not aware of anyone who’s gotten inordinately rich by starting a green endeavor, but I can name several extremely powerful traditional energy companies that control large swarms of American life. Is it that you are against changes in technology or the growth and evolution of public-private innovation? But does that not stand in contradiction to the principles of free enterprise? Should we go back to burning coal and wood?

You also mention that “science is not done by vote.” But scientists (except in the privacy of the voting booth) do not vote. They observe, they report and on occasion, they make policy recommendations. If consensus results, as it has with regard to changing climates, then the public would be well-advised to carefully examine and perhaps accept those recommendations. Finally, when analyzing climate change, it is important not to rely on isolated, short-term records. What needs to be examined are running (30-year) averages, long-term trends such as growing seasons and frost dates, and large regional, continental or even hemispheric patterns.

John Schroeder

McHenry

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