Letter writer misses mark on climate change

I must diverge from the opinions given by David Turner (Globe, Sept. 29) in his letter, “Challenge scientists on climate change."

He suggests that the deception of scientists is reason to deny there is a problem. Deception has become a mainstay of our lives. Finding the truth requires independent research and consideration. I will not deny that there are those in the scientific community who falsify data to serve their own agenda. Those reasons are almost always the same — power, greed and prestige. I accept that. I also recognize the same trait in those who hold political office. I am comfortable in saying that I believe this trait is more common in the political field.

Next, he mentions the value of carbon dioxide to our planet. This is where the general public becomes confused. The science that purports that climate change is due to human activity is not limiting the cause to just one source. The problem is much more complex. The effects of man on the world he lives in cannot be explained at the sixth-grade level, and if you get your information from the major news sources, this is the level of explanation you are getting. If you are relying on those with a political/economic background to inform you, then you must question also yourself about their agenda.

To give you an idea of how complex the question is, research one paper from 2003, "Regional Variations in U.S. Diurnal Temperature Range for the 11–14 September 2001 Aircraft Groundings: Evidence of Jet Contrail Influence on Climate." This is a 12-page report about the effect of the grounding of all U.S. commercial air traffic post-9/11. This one singular change for three days over our skies had a measurable effect on our environment. This report is supported by other independent research.

Yes, the climate experiences natural change over time. The real question is: Has man accelerated the change such that life cannot adapt?

Turner’s claims about the ecological difference between today and the time of George Washington I must question. More trees in America, accepted, but what about in the world? Are we seeing a loss of the forests of the world as a whole? What of ocean life? The oceans are where most carbon dioxide is converted to oxygen.

More animals? Yes, but how about diversity? In our meat-centric society, have we upset the balance with things such as concentrated animal feeding operations? These type of facilities add to the methane (another greenhouse gas) in our environment.

Water is not polluted? I regularly see reports about not swimming or taking fish from some of our rivers and streams for one reason or another. And just this past week I saw the first report of microplastics in our municipal drinking water supplies.

“And neither is the air we breathe.” I’m sorry, this one I will openly challenge. Enter any major city, even after years of regulation to reduce air pollution, our view is still obscured by the contaminants in the wind. This will become diluted as it moves away from its source, but the exposure is still there, and often the effects are cumulative.

James Graham

Pittsburg, Kan.

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Use of epithets rising under Trump

There were two letters in the Sunday Globe (Sept. 29) from our Lamar and Nevada neighbors. Both could be characterized as utilizing alternative facts aligned to personal beliefs rather than evidence. That isn’t unusual in this era of echo-chamber consensus.

What is disturbing is that both writers used the epithet "liar" to reference those who disagree with them. This is further evidence of the disintegration of civil discourse. I suggest that this has accelerated under the current national leadership. Sad.

Michael O’Leary

Joplin

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Whistleblower works for us, not Trump

We taxpayers pay the salaries of all federal employees. They are to protect us and our democracy.

Donald Trump does not appear to believe this. He said our now-famous “whistleblower” is a “traitor” and a “spy” because he says Trump broke our law and adversely affected our democracy.

He would be a traitor to Trump if he worked for him. If the whistleblower’s report is accurate, he is a true patriot to “we the people” who pay him.

Remember the difference. Rudy Giuliani works for Trump; the whistleblower works for us.

Martin Walsh

Glendale, Mo.

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