Letter to the Editor 11/14/19

In the past, there were a lot more trees and forests. Trees use photosynthesis to pull CO2 out
of the air, and trees contain a huge amount of carbon. Presently, there are fewer trees around
the world, so trees are not pulling as much CO2 out of the air now.
Our oceans contain a lot of water, and water can dissolve a small amount of gas. Our oceans
have been dissolving a lot of CO2 out of the air in recent decades, keeping atmospheric levels
lower. But they can’t dissolve CO2 out of the air now, as they are virtually saturated with all the
CO2 that they can hold. The oceans have really been helping us out in the last century. That our
oceans have become acidic could be a whole new topic. But only CO2 put into the air now will
stay in the atmosphere, accumulating year after year, decade after decade. This is why CO2 in
the atmosphere is increasing.
A short time ago, scientists discovered that melted ice water on top of ice sheets form cracks
in the ice. More ice melting makes the cracks go down deeper. Eventually, the ice crack of
water will go all the way to the bottom of the ice, reaching the surface of the earth that the ice
sheet is lying on. When more melts, water is added, and a pool of water forms below the ice.
This pool of water conducts heat from the warmer ground below to the ice around it, melting it. A
river is then formed, slowly creeping downhill. Eventually, at the juncture of land, ice, and ocean,
water that started out miles away on top of the ice sheet, flows out into the sea.
Remarkable. This surprised the scientists. The ice sheets are melting from the bottom up. This
is bad news, and alarms scientists as it means that the ice sheets are not melting slowly, as
previously thought. Geologists and climate scientists agree. Another mass extinction will occur
soon. There are no doubts among the scientists. They only disagree on whether it will occur in
50 or 100 years.
Oil companies, committees formed by oil companies (no geologists), U.S. Presidents, and
some conservative politicians have worked hard to keep us from knowing about global warming.
The stories of individual scientists whose work was severely censured can be found in books at
Waterfield Library and Amazon.com.
Because we have been deceived for 30 years, the time is very late. Greta Thunberg
continually states that people should look at the science and not her. Amazingly, critics of global
warming only focus on and criticize her. What they are intentionally doing is trying to draw
attention away from the science.
What can be done to prevent global warming and prevent the next mass extinction from
occurring soon? Greta Thunberg says we should act as if the house is on fire. First, the most
obvious thing we can do is plant a lot of trees. And of course, we should turn our thermostats to
65 or lower at night when we are asleep when its winter, and up to 75 in the summer all day
long. Another thing we can do is DRASTICALLY cut down our use of cars. Carpooling and
hitch-hiking should become common. Riding bicycles would be good in the spring, summer and
fall. Bicycles have improved remarkably in the last 30 years and are the most efficient form of
transportation. Roller skates are number two. Buses also need to become common, frequent
and more comfortable.
Lastly, airplanes use a huge amount of energy, and plane flights should be kept at an absolute
minimum. Video conferencing, high speed trains and luxurious buses should become the norm. Another important thing is that people should live in the smallest indoor space possible yet still
comfortable. Construction is a whopping 20 percent of energy usage. Dining rooms and spare
bedrooms are unnecessary. Large living rooms can double as a bedroom at night. Most houses
are really too big for us, and perhaps can be converted to duplexes or bedrooms can be rented
out. We really waste indoor living space in our houses.
Frances Moore Lappe wrote in her “1975 Diet for a Small Planet” that growing grains and
vegetables is 10 times more efficient than growing food for livestock or allowing livestock to
graze on the land. Also, how we treat cows, pigs and chickens would be immoral from anyone’s
standpoint. Plus grains and vegetables are cheaper than meat, and fruits and vegetables
contain nutrients we too rarely consume.
People need not change everything tomorrow. We can start trying to carpool and make fewer
trips places. Over the next 6 months or year, we can think about how to do without a car or
sharing our car. Changing our eating habits can start slowly, too. The first week, we can change
one meal. The second week, change two meals. After that, just change two more each week.
Our leaders knew about the dangers of global warming and strove to discredit the idea
(scientists’ autobiographies about being censured are in Waterfield Library with other global
warming books) for 30 years. This is why Greta Thunberg is so sad and angry. Because nothing
has been done for 30 years, the threat of mass extinction is very real. Now, drastic measures
must be taken if mankind is to survive.
Simply stated, people shouldn’t be having kids now. A billion is already way too many people
for this earth to sustain. In 1500, the population of the world was 250 million. In 1800, it was 1
billion, and in 1950, it was 3 billion. The world’s population has increased by almost 5 billion in
the last 60 years. The painful truth is that the population of the earth must go down if mankind is
to survive.
We must act now. In 5 years, it will be too late, as the climate situation will not be able to be
changed. More CO2 added to the atmosphere will trap more heat around the earth. Some ice
melting will cause more ice to melt, as less ice means less heat is reflected back into space. If
the ice melts above the solid methane in the Arctic, the earth will heat up another 10 degrees.
One step causes the next. That’s why it’s urgent we must slow the warming now. We must
begin to act now.
– John Alsman