You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
August 14, 2013 at 7:32 PM
Climate change is cyclical
By neglecting to mention that the Earth has been warming and glaciers receding since the end of the last major ice age more than 10,000 years ago, Jonathan Martin implies that man is solely responsible for climate change. [“Glacier National Park, melting before our eyes,” Opinion, Aug. 12.]
That’s like accusing someone of littering, while failing to point out that it happened in a pre-existing garbage dump.
Man is contributing to climate change, but the process began long before the industrial age; it would be going on even if man had never left the stone age, and it will end when natural forces return the world to a cooling cycle.
I suspect that efforts by man to slow or stop climate change will be as effective as trying to tidy the garbage dump by picking up a few candy wrappers.
Gerry Bruder, Seattle
August 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM
Science goes both ways
Jonathan Martin’s lament for the retreating glaciers in Glacier National Park is understandable; If the glaciers continue retreating, the park’s name will no longer be meaningful, and all of us who enjoy the sight of glaciers will miss out. [“Column: Glacier National Park, melting before our eyes,” Opinion, Aug. 12.]
But if we really are to pay attention to science here, and Martin makes clear his disdain for those who would deny science, it’s necessary to point out that these glaciers were first reported shrinking in 1850. That makes sense, because the earth was coming out of the Little Ice Age.
The cause of the retreat of these particular glaciers is probably more directly related to changes in precipitation, not temperature.
The author further complains that he watched “full-size trucks, probably getting no more than 15 miles per gallon, lumber up the incline” at Logan Pass.
Depending on the size of the truck, 15 miles per gallon may not actually be a bad number, and since we are adhering strictly to science, it’s worth noting that raising a certain mass a certain distance will require a certain amount of energy, regardless of what Congress says about it. Perhaps you can move 20 tons of lumber with Prius mileage figures, but I’d guess not. We should think realistically about the science of that, too.
Dennis Evans, Kirkland
Trending with readers