Environment issues are not settled

Aug 29, 2013

We must all applaud the softening of Mr. Keeler’s wrath in his latest column.  Those of us who wish to preserve a clean environment are no longer “greenies” or even “eco fascists,” though we now seem to be given to “chanting” and “preaching,” our views are “scams,” and in Mr. Keeler’s black-and-white world, “Solar cells have come to define what it means to be an environmentalist.”  I must not have received that memo!

He quotes a number of sources.  I would like to offer a Nature article by Dan Kahan on why Americans reject the science of climate change: “The problem isn’t the public’s reasoning capacity; it’s the polluted science-communication environment that drives people apart.”

See the rest at http://www.nature.com/news/why-we-are-poles-apart-on-climate-change-1.11166 - it’s simply not the closed case that Mr. Keeler preaches to us about.  Quite the contrary.

Mr. Keeler’s recent opinion piece ended with the astonishing statement that, “As the planet continues to cool now, those who argued that the science is ‘settled’ look increasingly desperate. Consider all this, regarding any green promise.”

Perhaps one might also consider any of the following articles on glacier melting, the danger to cities located on low littoral areas, coastal flooding, etc.

Many more are to be found with a simple Google search – the science is overwhelming and almost universally agreed to.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/aug/20/coastal-flood-damage-2050

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/20/earth-overshoot-day-environmental-deficit

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/can-cities-adjust-to-a-retreating-coastline/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2011/oct/11/lake-imja-climate-change

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2018759821_apusscigreenlandmelt.html

Mr. Keeler’s argument seems to boil down to the fact that the Germans are having teething difficulties with wind- and solar-generated electricity.

He seems to have overlooked the many technologies that are coming on line to store the power generated by the admittedly intermittent wind and sun, and to take the attitude that because the Model T was awkward to shift, lacked much power and sometimes failed to circulate engine oil on long steep hills, that Henry Ford should have thrown in the towel on the whole scam.

Yet, oddly, new technologies develop and improve, and intelligent people recognize this.  Even the ox cart could be improved, though one suspects that Mr. Keeler would have considered it a “scam” or an “empty promise” the first time the wheel squeaked.

The consequences of not addressing climate change are horrific, yet Mr. Keeler stands firmly on the bridge of the Titanic, “chanting” with Captain Smith that there are no icebergs, that those who think there are, are frauds, and any measures taken are futile and deceptive.

It would be good to know what Mr. Keeler is actually for.  Perhaps next time he posts an on-line response to one of his own letters, he might enlighten us.

As he seems to be blogging, column-writing and commenting on his own column, he should have ample space.

Nathaniel Brown

Edmonds

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