In response to opinion piece, The Sky is Not Falling

Opinion Pages Should be a Sounding Board, Not a Pulpit

Moonshine Ink has been a great source of insight for our community, a much needed eye for our town over the years.

I am all for freedom of the press, but in your most recent issue, when you provide an “opinion” piece that so casually breaches the propaganda line, and you disregard any notion of false equivalency, it is distressing and downright scary.

It is one thing to provide a sounding board, another to provide a pulpit. Please, carefully consider your motives and integrity going forward.

~ Chris Crossen, Truckee, via letter

Spoken Like a True Politician

In his condescending opinion piece, Rep. McClintock states, “Science thrives on civil and dispassionate debate. When someone tells you the debate is over, that dissent should be forbidden and dissenters should be personally attacked — that’s not a scientist talking — that’s a politician.” McClintock certainly knows how politicians talk. How ironic.

When politicians use historical scientific data inappropriately, in an effort to debunk verified current scientific findings, they speak nonsense and must be rebuked. McClintock ignores the IPCC report released last October — with more than 6,000 scientific references, contributions from thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, 91 authors, and review editors from 40 countries. McClintock ignores the National Climate Assessment released last November, written by scientists at 13 U.S. government agencies, calling for urgent action to curtail greenhouse gas emissions to avoid increasingly severe impacts of climate disruption.

If a tooth is bothering you, you go to a dentist, not a car mechanic. Why? It’s because the dentist is educated and experienced with dental issues. When thousands of Earth scientists worldwide warn that climate disruption has created a crisis, it makes sense to pay attention and act — and not talk like, nor listen to, a dissenting politician.

~ John Sorensen, Ph.D., Truckee, via letter

Listen to the Scientists

Mr. McClintock,

Thank you for noting the need for climate change action. In Washington D.C., reality might be legislated or bought. Not in the natural world.

Global warming isn’t new, but what is, is the number of humans on Earth and the amount of carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere — levels since 1950 exceeding the previous 650,000 years (see https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/graphic-the-relentless-rise-of-carbon-dioxide/).

The scientific community does not disagree about human influence: 97 percent of scientists are in agreement. If 97 out of 100 doctors said you needed a procedure, you’d probably go with the 97.

Our universe was created by a higher power. Mechanisms that rule it were not devised by people and cannot be changed by people. When we discharge CO2 into the atmosphere, it goes into pre-existing mechanisms and impacts things down the line, like the weather. It’s just getting started.

Despite obvious cost, we must address how we live. Some people resist; some are frightened: It’s scary when the world changes and it’s bigger than you.

We’re already losing species and our food supply is being impacted. We look to you for informed leadership. Please listen to scientists and the bold, scary new ideas about how to move forward: They just might help.

~ Marguerite Sprague, via letter

McClintock’s Op-ed Muddles Facts to Support Erroneous Conclusions

I read with interest, Moonshine Ink’s Climate Change Edition, including Congressman McClintock’s The Sky’s Not Falling opinion piece. It’s great to see that Mr. McClintock is reviewing the climate science literature. Unfortunately, though, his interpretations muddle the facts to support erroneous conclusions, and lead to a false sense of security.

I, too, believe there is common ground regarding the efforts we should take to reduce the rate of climate change, and to develop meaningful adaptation strategies. The current federal administration has abdicated the United States’ leadership role in addressing world climate change. However, that does not absolve us of our responsibilities at home.

The real question Mr. McClintock and other elected officials need to consider is whether the U.S. government should commit resources and support the political will to help ensure the continued existence — and prosperity — of humans? Yes, the costs are high, and the choices are difficult. However, delaying the hard work under a false sense of security means higher costs and more difficult choices in the future. The sky is not falling yet, but it certainly looks ominous for humans.

~ Zach Hymanson, Tahoe City, via letter