Sept. 26, 2012
To the editor:
The No. 1 issue you don’t hear about in the upcoming election is global climate change. Big oil and coal corporations have been highly effective in the denial effort, especially in Washington with huge donations to campaigns. The Koch brothers, BP, Exxon Mobil and other energy interests, working with such groups as the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Chamber of Commerce, have convinced nearly half of America that climate change is not a problem.
This effort by big energy can be expected considering the trillions tied to drill rigs, pipelines, refineries and filling stations. The coal industry has huge investments in mountain-top removal mining and supply for power plants. The unfortunate thing is that a scientific fact became political issue when Al Gore got involved and made such statements that the sea levels would rise 30 feet. This gave the deniers a valid argument.
The sea level has risen about six inches in the past 100 years and will rise about an inch per decade. This can be dealt with as the Netherlands has done with some costs. The climate models developed by scientists previously are so accurate they predict the climate we are experiencing. Not only the rise in temperature, but drought, storms and floods such as in Pakistan and Thailand. Texas and Nebraska had a drought that lasted the entire summer.
Burning of fossil fuels causes acidification of the oceans from the high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is absorbed into ocean water, forming carbonic acid. This is casing loss of coral reefs and affecting shelled sea life. Warming of ocean water also is affecting salmon migration and may affect Alaska’s fishing.
For those who are interested, there are two books I think are among the best: “The Weather of the Future,” by Dr. Heidi Cullin and a book pertaining specifically to Alaska, “Early Warming,” by Nancy Lord.
John D. Callahan