A recent column on climate change (When greenhouse gas meets ice age, http://deltafarmpress.com/news/robinson-column-0918/index.html?imw=Y) has prompted a round of bouquets and brickbats from readers, which I have excerpted below. The column asked a tough question. Why are we proceeding with solutions to global warming when we're really not sure of its dynamics, especially in regard to scientists' predictions of a coming ice age.
From reader Wayne Benoit, “Right on buddy! Let's don't take another step until we have a better idea of where we're going. You said it all in that statement. God bless you and keep up the good work.”
From Chris Clegg of west Tennessee, “This article was superb! Short, concise, historically hinged, well-documented and thought-stirring … Keep up the great work. This is one I'll refer back to when in a discussion about the cap and tax bill.”
Rob from western Washington state, notes, “The scientists talk about man being more powerful than Mother Nature but I find myself wondering if the scientists know what causes the ice ages?
“Big ice versus global warming makes for interesting discussion,” says Tim Gieseke of Minnesota, “but I don't think staying the course is good for any economy in a changing world … If our world's economy continually consumes the amount of energy in one day that it takes the Earth's ecosystems to harvest and store in 27 years, then we (or my children's grandchildren) don't have too much to look forward to if we don't keep finding abundant oil. There are other reasons to conserve, rather than just to annoy political conservatives on the subject of climate change.”
Harley Spoon of Texas leaves little doubt about where he falls on the issue. He blames unfettered capitalism. “I realize that you have a job at Farm Press so you have to write something in order to get paid, but surely you can do better than this ‘ice age’ mess I read today. (Ouch!)
“The real issue that ‘know nothings’ and those who want to continue to know nothing refuse to consider are the short and long term effects of mankind's actions over and above nature's forces.
“Sadly, agri-business leaders and spokespeople are fanning the fires of ignorance and stupidity by quoting meteorologists instead of environmental scientists! Again, why? Because they are the tools of the powerful interests with an agenda! That agenda is not for conservation and future generations but for profit now at any cost.”
We may argue ad nauseam over how climate change might be affected by conservation, biofuels, capitalism, government, greenhouse gas and cap and trade. One thing is more certain, however. It does seem to raise the temperature of blood.