Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Did our cars and aerosol cans really do this?"

Global warming

We're actually not getting as hot as we seem to think

The global-warming debate is exaggerated by hyperbolic language, and it is doubtful that human activity is driving the relatively small rise in average climate change.

According to a study by the National Academy of Science, the globe's climate has risen just .4 to .8 degrees Celsius since 1940.

Did our cars and aerosol cans really do this?

Scientists have shown that risings and fallings in global climate is a normal and natural phenomenon, caused by many factors, with carbon dioxide being a fairly minimal factor. Trees like carbon dioxide.

As I listen or read what the media say about global warming, many of these sources speak of major disasters, total calamity, starving nations, flooded countries ... and on and on.

Al Gore told Congress that Florida would be flooded under several feet of water if the polar regions melted. Not really, Al. If such an unlikely phenomenon occurred, the oceans would rise about an inch.

When we actually consider real degrees of climate rise and natural phenomenon, the debate is not worthy of these catastrophic hyperventilations.

— Keith Soban, Lynwood

Count your kids and save some space

OK, somebody has to say it. The feature on an energy-conscious family of four ["Can we change our lives to save the planet?" Times, Page One, April 15] left out the greatest single action they have taken: limiting their family to two children!

Society avoids the subject like a plague — yet any sane person knows it is the bottom line, the only ultimate solution to the impending depletion of Earth's resources, and just plain space.

— Bill Shumway, Seattle

No, you first

The headline reads: "Can we change our lives to save the planet?" What I want to know is can The Seattle Times change its delivery habits to help our planet?

How about if for the month of May, The Seattle Times stops using plastic bags — usually two for each newspaper delivered — and instead places the paper in a dry spot, such as a front porch?

— Laurie Alexander, Redmond

Get up offa that thang

I was inspired by The Times' suggestion to reduce carbon emissions by improving fuel economy by lightening the load in one's automobile ["It's time for a carbon clean sweep," Times, News, April 15]. Emissions also could be reduced by removing the spare tire, too — not the one made of rubber, but the one made of blubber.

By adopting a healthier lifestyle and losing that extra 30, 50 or 75 pounds, you can reduce carbon emissions.

First, stop idling in line at the drive-thru. Park your car and walk inside. Eating less will save the energy used to transport, manufacture and process the excess food. As you shrink, so will your size and you'll be able to fit more clothing in the washing machine and will do fewer loads, thus saving additional energy.

Think about it. I'm sure there are many more ways to reduce carbon emissions by simply dropping a little weight.

— Robin Valaitis Heflin,

Camano Island

Making small changes could have a big impact

It was encouraging to see the public demonstrations of concern about the human contributions to global warming over the weekend. However, I would suggest that two pieces of information might be simple indicators of the degree to which citizens are taking personal steps to reduce their contributions to the production of greenhouse gasses:

1. Does their monthly utility bill show a reduction of electrical and natural-gas consumption?

2. Does Metro ridership numbers show an increase in the number of people who choose to ride the bus at least once a week?

These numbers would show how many of us are actually willing to make some simple (but not always convenient) lifestyle changes that could lead to immediate reductions in the emissions contributing to global warming. It's not enough to "talk the talk." Each of us has to "walk the walk."

— David Echols, Kirkland

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