Man-made global warming continues to be discussed as a problem. The truth and truths about weather patterns become more important as people begin to believe that all of life on earth is doomed in only a short time from now, in 30-50 years.
True or untrue? Claims of this disaster rest on our use of oil, gas, and coal, putting more CO/2 in the air. Yes, we act on the environment in ways affecting weather patterns. However, it should be discussed in terms of the environment, citing examples, instead of this odd generalization of how one gas will soon deal the death blow of all life on earth.
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For example, Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz in 1975 warned farmers and policy makers against destroying the hedgerows planted during the 1930s. On the prairies of the American West (also: Siberian Steppes) these hedgerows slowed and diverted the wind and prevented excessive drying of the soil. Less tornado damage? Another example: Some or all of ten Siberian rivers were re-channeled during the middle and later part of the 20th Century. This was done to open Russia's ports on the Arctic Ocean by reducing the amount of ice in that ocean. Was a warmer and rainier climate for Europe and North America a result?
Please, please! Someone do some honest research on these and other examples. Maybe a formal public debate, a rarity these days. And, from now on the disaster tale of death of the planet should not be used in the public schools, scaring sanity out of school children. In its place teach the basic dynamics of weather with the sun as its champion weather maker with its 5.5 degree factor. Teach about high and low pressure air masses, and ocean currents.
Scientists should accept the world of mystery, the world of known and unknown. From that we can better understand our environment. Improve land management. Or, shall we take the road to San Jose?
Leonidas H. Miller, Mattoon