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June 18, 2018

6/8/2018 7:29:00 AM
Bob Dylan and climate change

To the Editor:

Change just two letters in Bob Dylan's song, and his prophetic words ring true for our times: "... for the climes they are a changin'." The reality of climate change resulting from rising levels of greenhouse gases (GHS) caused by human activity is recognized as a life imperiling issue by all but the most obdurate. And this denial by some and inaction by too many will inevitably make today's problems far worse.

Political pundits speak of "one-issue candidates," and politicians are sometimes criticized for being exactly that. Yet there is one priority that should be foremost in the mind of every person seeking to represent and serve us in public office. That single issue is to undertake policy measures that will slow down and reduce over time GHS. This will be for me and I believe for more and more voters the "acid test" for giving any office-seeker our support.

Voters in the 7th Congressional District have an opportunity to make their voices heard on this issue in the upcoming primary and general elections. Again this year, the House may consider a resolution introduced by Representative Scalise of Louisiana opposing any kind of "carbon taxes" and perhaps blocking other more creative approaches, e.g., a "carbon fee and dividend" as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby.

I urge anyone who recognizes the severity of the problem to ask our Representative Sean Duffy to not only oppose this resolution, but to take a leadership role in formulating economically sound policies to reduce GHS. A first step might be for him to immediately join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. Of course, we voters should apply the same "acid test" to all Democratic candidates running in the primary this August.

As Americans know from our history when the "times" change, we too can change and adapt to new circumstances. Within our own lifetimes, we've seen this most notably in regard to civil rights Black Americans and the role of women. The issue for our times clearly is of no lesser importance: the future health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants. Future generations will judge us by how well we mobilize to meet this challenge.

Robert Schlack


Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2018
Article comment by: Glenn Holcombe

This is adorable. Thanks for writing. Always good to have Bob Dylan's fans bring us their scientific observations based on the genius of his lyrics. Brings to mind the wisdom of Chauncy Gardner.

Speaking on behalf of the "most obdurate among us," a few thoughts:

While I too enjoy a good fairy tale now and then, there is no such thing as an "economically sound polic(y) to reduce GHS." All of the recommended solutions offered by the anthropogenic global warming alarmist cabal are economically disastrous. Not just 97% of them--but every single one.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the ubiquitous talking point that "97% of climate scientists agree that man is causing climate change" is a myth. In fact, great numbers of serious scientists throughout the world have expressed much disagreement with this politically driven sentiment.

In fact, a great many informed scientists and observers understand that (1) climate has varied substantially over eons, with warmer climates than today occurring as recently as during that last millennium and well before the industrial age (2) the current increases in temperature are consistent with natural historical variation (3) we still have much to learn about climate sensitivity to increase in CO2 (4) our models for predicting future climate temperatures can't even accurately model the known recent past temperatures, much less the future (5) we have virtually no objective evidence on the possible effects on climate of fossil fuel combustion (6) we have as much reason to expect that some rise in global temperatures may have a net benefit for the planet and its inhabitants and (7) the "solutions" offered by the alarmists for remediation of the alleged catastrophic problem would be uniformly (a) ineffective at changing the climate, (b) disastrous for the most impoverished among us who are attempting to industrialize and join the world economy, and (c) much more effective at promoting a global economic catastrophe than warding off an imagined climate catastrophe.

Given the above, I encourage Sean Duffy to ignore Mr.Schlack and his fellow Chicken Littles and keep basing legislation on sound science and realistic policy choices.

GD Holcombe

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