Saturday, October 30, 2010

Op Ed promotes geoengineering; my letter refutes

As an informed citizen, I try my best to correct misunderstandings on the science of climate change that appear in local media. This gives me plenty to do.

Eleven days ago, The Californian ran this op-ed by Dana Milbank in which he argues that we need to consider geo-engineering should efforts to control greenhouse gas levels fail.

Climate Change Plan B

I agree with him to the extent that we are failing miserably to control emissions and that some geo-engineering solutions may need to to considered to buy us time, but his description of many geo-engineering options and describing them as opportunities that haven't been explored is ignorant of the science. It is disturbing that columnists say such things and then are allowed additional op-eds before their previous errors can be corrected.

My letter ran today:


The defining feature of my article is that it's 200 words. I'm also guilty of a little political manipulation. I refer to the conservative side of me recognizing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I used the word "conservative" for it's original meaning: tending to conserve the resourses we have. But, I was writing for the paper, and during election season, so I knew people will read "conservative" in it's political sense, where conservative on ecology and conservative in political outlook do not mix.

The issue is not to convince liberals or anyone open to scientific conclusions that climate change is real and dangerous. The issue is in convincing conservatives, as they have to be part of the solution. Climate change is becoming the frog in the boiling pot of water experiment. Next year continues to look only slightly worse than this year. We do not hear the clicking of the rachet.

Of couse, as an animal loving liberal, I've never boiled a frog for myself. I hope I don't have to, and I hope humanity doesn't take the global experiment much farther.


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