Letter to the editor

It’s time to stop protecting the fossil fuel industry

April 6, 2017 

It is tragic to see Mr. Coffelt broadcasting the lies of the fossil fuel industry in order to ridicule the legitimate concerns of the majority of Americans. At no time ever, has mainstream science predicted an ice age. It is true that in the 1970s, a meteorologist names Lowell Ponte wrote a book called “The Cooling,” which made such a prediction, claiming mainstream science has had this wrong since the 1850s.

His claim was quickly discredited. Mass media outlets like “Time,” “Newsweek” and “National Geographic” had a field day with the lurid prediction anyway.

The episode did awaken the government to the fact it should be studying climate. A report was commissioned, which stated that if we wanted certainty, we would need more and better satellites, global temperature monitoring and supercomputers, able to process the enormous amount of data.

It took a decade of work by the Reagan Administration to get the necessary infrastructure in place,and today we have that certainty.

Back then, the fossil fuel industry did not presume to dispute science, and most were responsible enough to employ researchers contributing to public knowledge of the subject. That changed markedly beginning in the 1990s, and the industry now spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year, creating disinformation, ranging from personal attacks on the scientists to false facts and ridiculous theories.

Google any climate related topic and you will usually be pages deep before you encounter anything but political raving.

This is pathetic from a country that once led the world.

John Walkup, Harrisonville

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