Letters to the Editor
Asked and answered
Our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord has enlivened the letters to TDN. Those who minimize the warming potential of human activity reach the conclusion that purchasing insurance in the form of behavioral modification is too expensive. To arrive at this result, they must minimize the estimates of climate change and the potential damages associated with estimated changes.
First of all, let’s separate a long-run trend (climate) from a short-run variation around the trend (weather). These concepts are often conflated and confused. The trend line is the best estimate of the long-run path of average temperature, whereas weather is the short-run seasonal variations around this trend. Climate and weather data strongly support the view that the planet is warming and variations around the trend are increasing. Secondly, cherry picking 1998 as a base year (an unusually warm year, that is to say, an outlier) and using this year to demonstrate climate stability for a 10-year period is intellectually disingenuous.
In his rejection of The Accord, President Trump cited a 2016 study from MIT. The study’s authors strongly disagree with the President’s interpretation of their results and noted that the White House did not contact them before the presentation. The study actually concluded that adherence to The Accord would slow global warming between 0.6 degrees centigrade and 1.1 degree centigrade by 2100.
Is there a science adviser in the White House? To ask is to answer.
While out and about the morning of June 18, I noticed a panhandler with his sign on a number of street corners.
One imaginative fellow sitting on the hood of his car with an empty gas can. Like a bolt of lightning it hit me, we should set up “panhandler” collective sites at strategic places around the state, or nation for that matter.
Whenever we the public, or people with jobs felt like sharing, we could go by one of these sites and drop off what we feel is an appropriate amount. It would save them the embarrassment of “begging,” being out in the weather — either summer heat or winter rain and cold — and just wasting the time they could use more productively.
They could come by these collective sites at their leisure and pick up their “dues” and go on about their business. They wouldn’t need to try to catch change tossed from car windows, approach strangers at intersections, etc.
Another win-win for all. We can make this work.
Crack the whip
Administrators and regulators have been ceded the power to make rules under which we live and under which they operate with an impunity we have all witnessed.
Our legislators are too otherwise preoccupied to function in the manner envisioned by the Founders. They no longer serve us, but are true slaves to their own ideologies; we, their masters, are responsible.
Each one is secure in the belief he/she will not be held accountable by home districts or states — the longer the service, the stronger the belief. However, increasingly extreme factionalism threatens that surety. Unless government rights itself, the midterm election should serve as the often threatened, never executed eviction of failed incumbents and an unmistakable warning for 2020. Use 20-20 hindsight as an incentive for trying something new — cracking the whip.