Letters to the editor | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

Town Square

Post a New Topic

Letters to the editor

Original post made on Sep 24, 2019

Opposed to Castilleja expansion

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

Comments (1)

5 people like this
Posted by Dan Siehl
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 24, 2019 at 10:35 pm

I am disturbed by recent incidents where children are being used to deliver messages instilled in them by exploitive adults. One is skip-school-to-protest-climate-change and the other is skip-school-to-protest-Trump’s-immigration-policies. In the latter, three SF schools had students, kindergarten and up, on the streets chanting “Who do we hate, Donald Trump”. Having children deliver commentary on the subtle differences between the immigration policies of Trump and his predecessor, who bragged about how many illegal immigrant criminals his administration was catching, or any other policy, is a crass way of deflecting criticism of the adults’ viewpoint, as if children have infallible knowledge and wisdom when if fact, they can be easily manipulated into believing whatever trusted adults tell them. Santa Claus, for instance, or the government as Santa Claus. And brainwashing kids with hatred is simply immoral.
The climate change protest is also troubling. Even the best journals have recently published studies that bring the whole premise that rising CO2 concentrations are driving global warming into question. If you look at the full history for which we have data (up to 800,000 yrs, based on Antarctic ice core samples), temperature and CO2 do correlate, but temperature rise ALWAYS precedes the increase in CO2 concentration by 600-1000 years [Jouzel, et al. (2007) Orbital and millennial Antarctic climate variability over the past 800,000 years. Science, 317:793-796; Lüthi et al (2008) High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present. Nature, 453:379-382)]. The observation is so consistent that it would be interesting to study the cause. If I were to look to biochemistry for a mechanism, I would have predicted that rising temperature would increase plant growth, resulting in reduction in CO2. Obviously, something else is going on. But the point is, this is very strong data, published in the best journals, that seriously challenges the idea that rising CO2 concentration drives warming. And this study (Soon, 2005. Variable solar irradiance as a plausible agent for multidecadal variations in the Arctic-wide surface air temperature record of the past 130 years. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L16712) shows that solar irradiance has far greater influence on surface temperature than CO2 or methane concentrations, which by the way are a very small component of the greenhouse effect compared to water vapor.
The horrible thing about the science of climate change is how politicized it has become. There is a book that teaches climate change science to children called The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon. They show the same data from the Jouzel and Luthi studies, which correlates temperature with CO2 concentration, but the labels on the axes are reversed, creating the false impression that CO2 concentration increases first, and therefore is the cause of the ensuing temperature increase, when in fact it is the other way around! As a scientist, there is nothing worse than brainwashing children with falsehoods.
As for me, I try to minimize my CO2 footprint along with trying to walk gently on the Earth. Maybe I’m still trying to channel Thoreau, like when I was an undergraduate. But I am not convinced that we have but a few years to avert a catastrophe. It almost sounds like an excuse to increase government power and reduce our freedom. Who would have suspected that?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 27 comments | 9,493 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 3,027 views

Coronavirus Food Safety Update + New! Insider Tips
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 2,936 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 7 comments | 2,771 views

The University of California’s flexible policies during COVID-19
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 5 comments | 1,065 views

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details