Thousands of scientists vs. one
Re: “More ill-informed writers,” by Ted Gilles, Dec. 30 Letters.
Mr. Gilles took issue with three letters dated Dec. 22 concerning climate change and human contribution to such change. He stated there is “zero evidence” such changes are anything but natural. He labeled the writers as “ill informed,” asserting the best evidence on climate change is to be found in the publication “An Inconvenient Deception” by Dr. Roy Spencer.
Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Spencer believes claims by other scientists regarding the severity of climate change are greatly exaggerated.
However, Spencer’s findings and assertions are at odds with the conclusions of the vast majority of the world’s experts on the subject. Of course, it is possible that Spencer is right and the other thousands of scientists are wrong, but it seems bold for Gilles to dogmatically proclaim Spencer’s research and conclusions the best evidence on climate change and to suggest that those holding opposing views are ill-informed.
Bruce Rasmussen, Dallas/Buckner Terrace
Check Spencer’s credibility
Is Gilles succumbing to confirmation bias? I Googled “Roy Spencer credibility” and found that his past publications were not peer reviewed and publishers regretted their choice to publish, that when his research was reviewed errors were found in his data, that Spencer has been director of a nonprofit funded by Exxon Mobil, that he has been active in other organizations with ties to Exxon Mobil and that his books have been published by a conservative nonprofit foundation funded by the Koch brothers.
Then I looked at criticism of the book cited by one reader which noted that they expected to see more science cited in the book. I found plenty of other critiques of this author. Why should I believe his story? Or is it I who have succumbed to confirmation bias? Do I really have time to analyze all the info?
Frankly, I expect only true scientists can form an accurately informed opinion on climate warming. I can only choose to believe the majority of scientists, the minority, or that which fits my personal interests.
Roberta Stavely, Carrollton
Deniers aren’t listening
How many times will you reprint the tired and thoroughly debunked arguments against man-made climate change? Once and for all: A few days of cold weather DO NOT disprove the effects of human-caused climate change! And there has NOT been a “20-year pause” in warming, as incorrectly asserted by Gilles. In fact, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have happened since 2000, with the hottest years being, in order, 2016, 2017, 2015 and 2014. Sound like a pause to you?
The science-deniers use the fact that there was a 1-year spike in 1998 to say we haven’t been warming the past 20 years. This is patently false.
Oh, and an assertion that climate has been changing throughout history does not deny that human-caused climate change has had a significant effect on the planet.
What greenhouse gases do in the atmosphere is trap and hold heat. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped. This disrupts global weather patterns, causing extreme highs in some places and extreme lows in others. Deniers, please tell me what part of this established science you do not understand.
Harry O. Davis, Far North Dallas
Consider how aircraft can help
Re: “It’s not your imagination: Dallas is hotter — Heat islands must be dealt with, say Janette K. Monear and Ed Heffernan,” Tuesday Viewpoints.
While the authors of this Dallas Morning News commentary suggest more trees and reflective white roofs to shade and reflect unwanted solar energy, another approach might be to use existing aircraft into and out of local airports to seed clouds with dry ice shavings on late cloudy humid afternoons and emit contrails on dry cloudless mornings to cool and maintain a stable daily temperature cycle. Holding other factors constant, to achieve a stable daily temperature cycle night time cooling needs to drop the temperature to that of the previous morning.
Aircraft contrails in the morning across the city sky reduce temperature by reflecting solar energy by 3 to 5 percent, while removing humidity and clouds at night can reduce the nighttime cooling rate by a factor of 6.5 times.
The costs of this operation can be easily offset by lower electricity consumption, lower heat related health problems and greater economic growth by enhancing rejection of waste heat directly to space rather than store the heat in the air or local water bodies till the season changes. If successful, the practice can also mitigate long-term climate change.
Aaron Davis, Dallas
Is Dallas EPA chief kidding?
Regarding Dallas’ new EPA chief saying it’s possible that humans have some impact on climate change, you are kidding me, right? The White House needs to rethink this appointment if these are her true assessments. She needs to change “possibly” to “probably” or “of course” before I will believe she’s qualified for this job.
Sandra Shahwan, Carrollton
Address warming at the source
Thank you for publishing articles highlighting the link between the extreme weather events of 2016 and climate change. Living in Dallas, I witnessed my friends in Houston get inundated with the epic rains and flooding from Hurricane Harvey. As many say, we need to “take steps to adapt” to these weather events that are influenced by global warming.
I would suggest that it’s more important to address global warming at the source, and one market-based way of doing that is by putting a price on carbon. A revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend is something we can plan for now and does not require us to keep sandbags or a canoe on hand. It will be a big step toward the future resilience we’re looking for and we can all ask our members of Congress to act right now.
Breanna Cooke, East Dallas
Support bid to price CO2
Scientists’ attribution of climate change to extreme weather events argues for prudent risk management. The economic, health and national security risks are becoming clearer, and the private sector is responding.
Business leaders, seeing the need to manage risks related to heat, drought and flooding, are pressing Congress to price CO2. This will send a market signal to encourage reduction of emissions at the pace science says is necessary without growing government or restricting individual choices. Done in a revenue-neutral way with proceeds refunded to households, it will drive technological innovation and economic growth.
North Texans can show their support through a campaign coordinated by Citizens’ Climate Lobby urging our members of Congress to advance a bill to price CO2. The lobby is also planning a Business Roundtable for business leaders to talk about the investments they are ready to make.
Former Treasury secretaries Henry Paulson, George Shultz and James Baker are vocal in their support of carbon pricing, as are energy giants Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell. Support this effort by sending an email to NTX-BCL@citizensclimatelobby.org.
Ann Drumm, Dallas/Uptown
Make the world better
Regarding climate change, why is it wrong to want to make the world a better place?
Caitlin Ramsey, Dallas
How do Republicans feel?
I have to wonder how rank and file Republicans and Trump supporters who claim to value the natural environment feel about President Donald Trump’s proclamations reducing the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument by 50 percent and the Bear’s Ears in New Mexico by 85 percent.
I wonder how they feel about reopening dumping of mined mountaintop coal slag directly into rivers below. I wonder how they feel about gutting the Clean Power Plant initiative, allowing more pollutants to be spewed into the air. I wonder how they feel about turning over the largest salmon spawning grounds on earth (Bristol Bay in Alaska) to copper mining that would kill most of the salmon. I wonder how they feel about walking away from the Paris Climate Accord, making the United States the only nation not to ratify it. I wonder how they feel about scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department being fired or not allowed to use such phrases as “climate change” or “global warming” in any of their studies, while closing down most studies.
I wonder how Republican voters square their support for Republican politicians and this vindictive president in the face of such proposed destruction.
Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls, Wash.
Accept responsibility for planet
Those who deny the obvious impact of human beings on our planet are simply refusing to accept our responsibility to care for the planet and fellow citizens of the planet. In Christian parlance, we call it good stewardship.
Raping, pillaging and plundering the planet for personal gain without consideration of the consequences has landed us in the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in. The first rule of holes applies — quit digging!
The Rev. John D. Zeigler, Denton
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