Speak Out On Man-made Global Warming

SPEAK OUT

January 12, 2009

The vast majority of scientists who study climate change for a living have concluded that human activity is contributing to global warming. Heck, even the Bush administration admits it, having listed the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

And yet Ron Smith trots out maverick scientists and even Michael Crichton, the science fiction writer, as "experts" on the subject who suggest that climate change is solely the result of sunspots and other phenomena not related to human activity ("What the global warming fear-mongers won't tell you," Commentary, Jan. 7).

I find Mr. Smith's logic bewildering and dangerous; bewildering because he refuses to admit to the power of humans to affect the climate and dangerous because his way of thinking will further expose future generations to the perils of global warming.

I wonder if Mr. Smith also consults witch doctors for health issues and psychics for financial matters.

Bill Klemer, Timonium

Kudos to The Baltimore Sun for having the good sense to print Ron Smith's latest column, which presented a well-thought-out rebuttal to the editorial board's own position on global warming.

I, for one, am in agreement with Mr. Smith's point of view. But I was hesitant to write my own viewpoint to The Baltimore Sun, assuming it would either remain unpublished or be edited down to make me appear to be a miscreant who could be labeled as the dreaded "flat-earth type" ("A New Year's resolution," editorial, Jan. 2).

But it was refreshing to see an uncensored and honest excoriation of The Baltimore Sun's seemingly unendingly politically correct and liberally biased point of view.

Steve Couzantino, Pasadena

Arguing over the scientific evidence for global warming is like the classic misdirection used by magicians to distract us.

The truth is that cleaning up emissions and wasting less of the Earth's resources just makes sense, and that finding alternate energy sources is as needed now as it was when humans were limited to a campfire.

They looked around and found faster, cheaper and more efficient ways to cook and stay warm.

Why shouldn't we 21st-century humans do the same thing?

Doing nothing but arguing is pointless.

Lynda Gomeringer, Baltimore

Beyond global warming, one of the major problems facing the world is convincing enough of the public that the situation is real and serious so that we can do something about it.

And despite what columnist Ron Smith says, the only real disagreements between scientists are over how much damage global warming will do, how long it will take to happen, what can be done to ameliorate these effects (it is too late to prevent them) and how effective those steps may be.

Unfortunately, the latest findings all point to the situation being worse than previously thought.

Mr. Smith can cherry-pick "experts" to make his case. He could also cherry-pick "experts" to prove the world is flat or that alchemy can turn Rice Krispies into gold. And in so doing, he can raise doubts in the minds of those not interested enough to learn the real facts.

This can erode the public support needed to fight the problem and is a major disservice to the global community.

But if The Baltimore Sun, in some attempt to present various views on global warming, chose to run this column, it should have paired it with one laying out what really is going on.

Myron Beckenstein, University Park

What's missing from Ron Smith's column "What global warming fear-mongers won't tell you" is an acknowledgment that despite the gulf between the proponents of either side of the global warming argument, there remains a need for man to be a good caretaker of the planet.

The world's population and its industrialization continue to grow, with lasting impacts.

I do agree with Mr. Smith that fear-mongering is less than desirable and should not be needed.

But we should not need stacks of contradictory data to remind us (mankind) of our ethical responsibility to be good stewards and care-takers of our home.

The responsibility is not a liberal or conservative one. It is not uniquely American.

It is a global one that needs the support of individuals and governments worldwide.

I'm all for raising everyone's consciousness about that fact, even if doing so involves a little fear-mongering.

Craig Leigh, Baltimore

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