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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 31, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Global warming: Is Seattle heat a side effect?

Times headline was a disservice to readers

Editor, The Times:

The headline on your [July 29] page-one weather story was an attention-grabbing “Hottest day ever?” But it was the subhead that has been bothering me all day: “Global warming? More like a high-pressure system and humidity that are parked over our region.”

This subhead irresponsibly reassures people that global warming is not something to worry about, using the proximate causes of weather to dismiss global warming. Global warming is not a meteorological event you can use to describe the day’s weather, like “Today we’ll see a high-pressure system mixed with some moderate global warming.”

Global warming is the gradual increase of global average temperatures along with volatile weather, a trend that has been well-documented over the past century. On the hottest days of the year people are the most receptive to efforts to stop global warming, and there is opportunity for action.

Discouraging this on the front page is the greatest disservice the The Times could do its readers.

— Simon Bond, Seattle

Why aren’t we asking Obama to sign environmental treaty?

As Puget Sound temperatures establish record highs, I wonder at the absence of people demanding President Obama sign the Kyoto Treaty to reduce global warming.

For eight years, while a Republican president was in office, one would regularly hear how wrong it was that the president would not sign the treaty. Now we hear nothing.

Just as the anti-war protests vanished after the election, even though soldiers are still dying overseas, the absence of any discussion on the Kyoto Treaty makes me wonder what antiwar protesters and environmentalists have as core values.

Does their silence on these issues show that they are just liberal lemmings willing to allow a Democrat president a free ride on issues they supposedly hold dear?

— Tom Tangen, Edmonds

High Seattle temps no indication of global warming

July 29 you published five letters online [“It’s hot in Seattle: Does this prove global warming exists?”, Northwest Voices] citing the recent hot weather in Seattle as proof that global warming is real.

It’s interesting to me that global-warming alarmists are permitted to use this argument, while global-warming skeptics are not. For example, when commentator George F. Will recently pointed out [“Turning a cold shoulder to climate-change,” Opinion, syndicated column, July 24] that the Earth has experienced no measurable warming in 11 years, he was promptly lambasted by the alarmists: “Dolt! That’s too short a timeline. Doesn’t he know the difference between climate and weather?”

All I can say to the alarmists is, “Make up your mind.” If 11 years of cooler weather doesn’t disprove global warming, then it is ridiculous to say that two weeks of hot weather in Seattle proves it.

— Paul Naumann, Tacoma

In hot weather, reminders of Iraq’s electricity sanctions

The forecast for July 29 was 90 degrees in Miami, 100 degrees in Seattle and 111 degrees in Baghdad.

In August 2000, I led a delegation to deliver medicines to children in Basra, the largest city in southern Iraq. It was 104 degrees at 6 p.m. A dozen of us were sitting on the floor of this poor family’s home sweating buckets when the ceiling fan began to turn. The woman of the house looked up and said, “Thank you, George Bush!”

The electricity had been off for three hours, and it was now their turn to have three hours of electricity before it was rationed again.

In 1990, Iraq had more than 9,000 megawatts of electrical capacity. After we bombed almost all of its electrical plants in the Gulf War, Iraq had less than one quarter of that.

We said, “Get rid of Saddam, and we’ll give you electricity.” The Iraqi people went through 12 years of sanctions without electricity to refrigerate, to pump sewage or to process water.

In this heat, allow a moment to think what the Iraqi people have been through.

— Bert Sacks, Seattle

Comments | More in Climate change, Environment, Seattle, weather


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