July 18, 2009
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Letters to the Editor and other People Speak
FROM- Naples News
Guest commentary: Climate change is no reason to tax energy
Climate change, if there is any, is no reason to rush passage of this massive Cap and Trade tax bill without carefully considering the effect on the economy and whether it will actually accomplish anything. There is no climate crisis, no need to panic. In fact temperatures having been dropping for a decade, which is probably bad news to Al Gore and his global warming evangelists. We have had record cold winters.
We do know that this major tax bill will increase the cost of everything and will sky rocket our energy and transportation costs, making U.S. goods less competitive. Jobs will go and government will grow. What is the rush?
Having studied geology, I was appalled by Gore’s so-called documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which was not scientific, honest or objective. His self-serving film wastes its time showing him next to a chart or looking out of airplane windows. It implies that the drying Aral Sea and the diminishing snow on Kilimanjaro is evidence of global warming, which is totally false. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won’t support his contention of a sea level rise of 20 feet. It may be more like zero to 12 inches, and unpredictable.
There is always climate change, and has been for 4.5 billion years. The earth has been warmer and colder than it is now. Land masses are constantly moving and ice ages have come and gone. Just 10,000 years ago, the Ohio River marked the southern end of the ice covering the northern hemisphere.
The question is not whether there is climate change; it is whether it is anthropogenic (man made); and also, is there is anything we can or should do about it?
Gore’s contention is that one of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, is the culprit. He stands by a chart showing results of the analysis of the Vostok ice core drillings and claims a correlation between carbon dioxide levels and temperatures. He implies, sarcastically, that the higher levels of carbon dioxide raise the earth’s temperature. The problem is that he got it backwards. A closer look shows that higher temperatures raise levels of carbon dioxide, sometimes a few hundred years later. It trashes his entire premise.
I hope for some common sense in examining the human influence on climate. It may come as a surprise to some that greenhouse gases are good. They make life on earth possible. The best of them is carbon dioxide which is only about 0.5 percent of our atmosphere but is necessary for plant life and the source of all our food. Yes, even meat. The major greenhouse gas is water vapor (65 to 85 percent) which we do not control. Carbon dioxide is 9 to 15 percent of greenhouse gases. If we could influence about 1 to 2 percent of the 9 to 15 percent, it is only a fraction of 1 percent of the total greenhouse gases and insignificant to the climate. There have been times when carbon dioxide has been at levels 10 times greater than now.
The other greenhouse gases are methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. Methane is produced by nearly all living creatures and fermentation.
Temperatures have only been recorded for 150 years. That snippet in geologic time is no basis for accurate predictions. There is more logical and convincing evidence that our temperatures match sun activity which supplies all our heat. This has been tracked by scientists but ignored by the global warming alarmists. This last decade of cooling is directly related to the last decade of extremely low sun spot activity.
We can all agree that we want reduced dependence on foreign oil, clean energy, lower pollution and lower costs. We can do this by drilling our own reserves for oil and natural gas, building nuclear power plants and clean coal. If wind and solar panels ever become economical, that’s fine, but ethanol has too many problems of transportation, cost and performance.
The money spent trumpeting “crisis” is huge, while the side of reason and analysis goes unfunded. Gore yells, “The debate is over. Save the planet now!” The flags wave, the politicians (both parties) think the people are speaking. The guy with the real science runs out of his lab to stop this parade and gets trampled.
This economy does not need this ruinous taxation. Don’t penalize bakeries. If there is climate change, we need an adaptive plan to cope with it and an energy plan to be self sufficient. Let’s stop this Cap and Trade madness.
Lee Flandreau, a native of Boston, has a bachelor’s degree in geology. He is retired from Signode Industries Inc., which makes heavy industrial packaging and material handling equipment, and materials like steel and plastic strapping, printing equipment and a line of power nailing and stapling machines.