Writer’s denunciation of climate change was full of hot air
Writer’s denunciation of climate change was full of hot air
John Gaetani’s Sept. 7 letter about climate change was riddled with — to put it politely — inaccuracies.
For instance, he states that climate change was responsible for the separation of a supercontinent into the seven current continents. I recommend that he stop depending on “Animal Planet” for his scientific information and pick up a high school earth science textbook instead. Perhaps then he’ll learn that plate tectonics moves continents around, not climate. Or perhaps he’ll learn that there was a glacial ice sheet covering most of Greenland 1,000 years ago, contrary to his claim that all of Greenland was lush and green at that time. One does not need to be a scientist to find these basic facts.
Our planet has been much warmer in the distant geologic past than it is today, and it has been much colder, too. Carbon dioxide levels have been higher, and carbon dioxide levels also have been lower. [The] Climate has indeed changed throughout our planet’s 4.5 billion year history (Gaetani should check that textbook for the age of our planet, too).
However, extremely rapid warming and increase in carbon dioxide sets modern climate change apart — it is occurring very quickly over a few decades, rather than gradually over thousands or even millions of years. Yes, climate change contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs, as Gaetani stated — but that climate change was the result of an asteroid impact that caused global cooling (not warming).
Gaetani mentioned Kurt Hollocher’s Aug. 31 letter about climate change. Gaetani also mentioned the prediction in the 1970s of global cooling — too bad he didn’t bother to read Hollocher’s letter about this, because it included a clear, concise explanation.
To summarize, there are slow, natural cooling and warming cycles that our planet has experienced for millions of years; it was in the 1970s that scientists’ understanding of the cycles hit the popular news media.
We should be in one of those natural cooling cycles right now, which makes the present climate change even more extraordinary.
The writer is professor of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Break pattern of fighting violence with violence
“Lord, grant me the courage to change what I can change, to accept what I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.” This prayer, often used in AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings, is one that President Obama should consider as he plans a response to the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.
President Obama [must not] continue the American addiction of using military response as the chief, rather than the last, resort. As in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other past military actions, it would be better if he listened to peacemakers, such as [the Rev.] A.J. Muste of the Fellowship of Reconciliation during the Vietnam era and Pope Francis.
Muste said: “There is no way to peace, peace is the way;” Francis: “War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity.”
Italians not only target of tasteless food truck
Being interested in the Wandering Dago food truck controversy and outcry from the Italian-American community, I decided to find a little more out about this business online.
To my surprise, not only do the owners slander people of the Italian community, they are “equal opportunity slanderers.” Their menu includes sandwiches named “Dago” and “Polack.” Does being called a Polack have two meanings I am not aware of, as Mr. [owner Brandon] Snooks explained for Dago?
When we watched the TV show “All in the Family” and the main character Archie Bunker called his son-in-law a “Dumb Polack,” I always believed it was to show Archie’s bigotry — but also his ignorance and insensitivity — and to bring attention to how hurtful and improper these terms are.
Of course, Archie also used the word Dago, and not in a complimentary fashion. Both the Italian community and the Polish community, among other ethnic groups, came to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families, and were called these same slurs as they tried and succeeded to become part of the fabric that the United States of America was created for.
Please, let’s not backslide to a place where it is OK to denigrate a human being’s heritage, especially in this case for mere marketing purposes. We can all learn a lot from history.
The writer is chairman of the Polish National Alliance board.
Guns or butter to Syria will cost U.S. dearly
Should our country send aid to Syrian rebels or should we send missiles into this war-torn country? Both propositions are costly to Americans.
One ballistic missile costs millions, and aid — military or humanitarian — can, and usually does, cost more. And if it is decided that missiles must be sent, humanitarian or military aid must soon follow.
How about this? We do neither.
The supposition that one or the other — missiles or aid — will gain the appreciation and friendship of Syrians or other Arabs is ridiculous. We must be realistic. Most Arab countries still teach their children that the United States is the Great Satan, and that hatred is displayed even by the refugees we bring into this country (the Boston bombers).
China does not take sides in this Muslim-killing-Muslim battle. Might it be time that we Americans devote our attention, time and effort toward our own people? We seem to work well together. Christians, Jews, and even some Muslims seem to tolerate differences here in the United States.
Let’s start focusing on the American people, and let the Arab world sort out its own laundry.
Allen R. Remaley
Why the need for such costly transport?
I am 88 years old and just found out what “highway robbery” is!
Over a week ago, I was brought to the emergency room at Ellis Hospital. It was 11:30 on a Saturday night — I was discharged at 3 a.m. Sunday.
I didn’t have money for a taxi, so they got me a carrier. It was a wheelchair van. I do not need a wheelchair, but that was it! They strap you into this wheelchair, and it feels like [what] the electric chair must feel like — only you don’t get a jolt until the bill arrives!
From Ellis Hospital to Curry Road, where I live, the bill was $760.
Highway robbery! That’s more than half my Social Security!
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