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Letters to the Editor: Responding to ‘False environmental predictions’

Why on God’s formerly green Earth would you give an economist a forum for spreading disinformation about scientific matters? In your last issue [Oct. 16], Walter E. Williams of George Mason University, says the world’s scientists are wrong about our climate emergency. His evidence comes from a piece by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group devoted to promoting right-wing politics that abolish antitrust statutes and give free rein to the biggest businesses. Giving Williams a whole page to spread their ultraconservative propaganda amounts to journalistic malpractice.

Poking fun at climate science, Professor Williams wants us to believe that because some early alarms were wildly off the mark or because later alarms got the timetable wrong, the entire premise of climate change is flawed. So ha ha – an ecologist feared in 1970 that Earth was getting colder, not warmer. At least he was right to monitor climate changes. So Al Gore predicted the ice caps would melt faster than they are. The poles may still have ice, but it is melting and seas are rising even as Williams guffaws.

Can we talk about what real scientists say? A Feb. 2018, article in the journal Climate Modeling [“The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We’re Not Wrong?”] looked at the chances that your climate emergency denier is right. Spoiler alert: After a quarter century of studying climate, scientists are sure that Earth is warming dangerously. The data are accurate and scientists are correct to raise the alarm. Interestingly, the authors note that “[M]ost of the challenges to this claim come from interested parties outside the scientific community.” That’s Walter E. Williams and the CEI, whose interests are purely monetary.

Even the huge corporations that Williams’ reactionary think tank hopes to protect understand that ostrich-like inaction would spell disaster.

Sheri Steininger

• • •

In response to Mr. Walter E. Williams’ thoughts on environmental predictions, at least one has come true. The Arctic Ocean is ice free for the first time. So much so, that cruise lines are offering Arctic cruises. 

What Mr. Williams fails to consider is that our nation, as well as others, have taken steps to reduce the possibility of these environmental disasters. 

With the advent of new technology, we have reduced our carbon footprint on our fragile planet, but this will only delay what others have predicted. Our current administration’s environmental policies are a reversal of decades of forward steps that we had taken.

To continue down this path of carbon-based energy will eventually lead to the reality of past predictions. Certainly, the cost to convert to alternative energy is expensive, but in the long run, we will benefit from an increase in jobs related to this new technology, as well as restoring the health of our planet.

Earl Barge

• • •

 I was really surprised to read Mr. Walter E. Williams’ column in the Oct. 16 issue of West Newsmagazine. I have considered him generally to be well-reasoned but I think this time he missed the mark entirely.

While it is true that some predictions in the past have not come to pass, I find it hard to believe that the current evidence of climate change, i.e, melting glaciers, rising ocean levels, et cetera would not indicate that something is happening and it ain’t good!

Even if you wish to discount these strong indices, why not continue to push for better use of resources than what we’re doing. What is wrong with cutting back on coal burning and other non-renewable energy sources. Continue to push for higher and higher mileage requirements on automobiles. Push for mass transportation ideas to reduce numbers of cars and their inherent inefficiencies. Push for renewable energy – wind/solar/water power. Continue efforts toward cleaner water and cleaner air.

Yes, it does involve higher costs in the short end – and perhaps forever – but the gains are human gains. What price do you want to really put on them?

To not keep moving forward [KOKO – Keep on keeping on] is to regress [SQ – Status Quo].

Glenn Martin

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