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Letters to the Editor about global warming

A special collection of letters on the global-warming debate.

October 4, 2007

Readers eye climate-change debate

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Regarding the Monitor series, "Global-warming skeptics: a closer look": The sunspot argument is far more persuasive than the man-made CO2 argument. While it is true that correlation does not equal causation, it is even more true that noncorrelation does not equal causation. Man-made CO2 emissions do not correlate well with observed global temperatures; sunspots do. One suspects a herd mentality is preventing many scientists from rejecting the familiar and accepting the obvious.

David R. Snyder
Cary, N.C.

What criteria – other than the ultimate rise in maximum projected Earth temperature of about 7 degrees C by 2100 – would convince mankind of the anthropogenic contribution? What would cause humans to change before we reach the point when it becomes irreversible?

If the projected increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) is greater than what has been found in more than 600,000 years, then we should try to avoid the environmental condition that existed before we inhabited the planet. Considering that the atmosphere would be continually adjusting to the increased, probably doubling of, GHGs to achieve chemical equilibrium, we have no evidence that we could adjust to the new atmospheric chemical equilibrium. It would appear logical to pursue a path that would slow the chemically changing atmosphere. Especially in the United States, we could easily do what is more efficient and, individually, reduce the wasted 20 percent of our energy use.

Joseph L. Goldman
Alpine, Texas

There's no doubt in my mind that burning fossil fuels has created some difference in our climate; however, I think the difference is minuscule in the overall scheme of things. The subject of global warming has been turned into a political football and it is pushed by entities that stand to profit from it.

Norman Streeter
Lebanon, Ore.

If the issue of global warming serves as a rallying cry to unite nations to clean up our increasingly dirty and wasteful environmental habits, so be it. We will have done ourselves and future generations the favor of a lifetime.

Alison Chabonais
Bonita Springs, Fla.

The skeptics raise persuasive points. Not only must the sunspots be considered, but also the Earth's internal ability to generate heat through plate tectonics resulting in seismic and volcanic activity. The Earth's systems are extremely dynamic, thus the inability to forecast with great accuracy next week's weather, never mind years in the future. In my humble opinion, "global warming" and "global cooling" are natural events, and if our climate ever became "static," then we would really need to worry.

John E. Dye
Clermont, Fla.

We know global warming is probably caused by greenhouse gases. Some say not. Let's curb the gases just in case, and the benefit will be much cleaner air and water. Isn't it worth doing it just for that?

Charles Napier
Ray City, Ga.

Research in the mid-20th century said that we would be in a period of global cooling and even maybe an ice age at this time period. So here we are in the 21st century – and no ice age.