Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Tipping Point... on...
. . . .

The Tipping Point... on saving our own skins

Robert Downes - July 25th, 2011
The Tipping Point... on saving our own skins
There were a lot of complaints about the heat at the Ride Around Torch
bike tour a week ago, followed by a lot of complaints by the public at
large throughout the next few days.
Most cyclists rode a 63-mile loop around Torch Lake in Antrim County. At
the bayside park in Elk Rapids where the tour wrapped up, many talked
about how tough it was cycling the last few miles of hills in the
90-degree heat, glaring sun and high humidity.
Then we packed up our bikes, climbed into our monster SUVs and
emission-friendly pickup trucks and took off down the highway, no doubt to
crank up the AC at home, doing our bit with the rest of the human race to
pump 90 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day of
the year.
90 million tons. Every day and climbing.
That’s about the way it goes, isn’t it? Yet I couldn’t help wondering
while driving home in my own gas-guzzler if the day will come when we’ll
look back on 90-degree temperatures as being quite pleasant compared to
what may be in store for us.
What’s ahead? 100-degree summers? 110? Last year, a city in Pakistan
recorded a temperature of 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest ever
recorded in an Asian city.
That bit is from a recent article, “Climate of Denial,” by former Vice
President Al Gore, who claims that the news media is letting “major
polluters and right-wing ideologues get away with trampling the ‘rules’ of
democratic discourse” on the threat of global warming. By that Gore means
that pseudoscientists are well-funded by conservative think tanks to cast
doubt on the dangers of climate change; not to mention funding “four
anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. House and Senate,”
buying politicians wholesale, and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars
each year into misleading ads.
This is a familiar theme for anyone who follows environmental issues, and
probably a good fundraising message for Gore’s cause.
But, given the parade of climate disasters in the news these days, at what
point will even the most ardent denier become a believer in the dangers of
global warming?
Perhaps when one too many tornadoes flattens another Joplin, Missouri or
Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Or when one too many hurricanes hits the Gulf Coast
or another city such as New Orleans.
There will be one too many floods washing away towns and farms along the
Missouri River in Montana, North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri and
Iowa. “Unprecedented in duration, unprecedented in volume, and
unprecedented in modern recorded history,” as noted by Republican
Congressman (and climate change denier) Steve King of Iowa.
Perhaps the tipping point will come in Arizona and New Mexico, where wild
fires have burned more than 1.5 million acres, prompting the evacuation of
a number of towns.
Maybe the tipping point will come after a few years of dangerous heat
waves of the sort we endured throughout the Midwest and the East Coast
last week, with “heat index values” (ie. how nasty it feels outside)
topping over 125 degrees.
Same story elsewhere around the planet: over the past few years,
Australia has experienced flooding over an area the size of Germany and
France combined with the “Black Saturday” wildfires that killed 173
people. Russia: 56,000 dead from massive fires and drought over the past
couple of years. Extreme droughts in Africa, China and France. Lack of
water likely to imperil the lives of millions in India and Pakistan... Is
it likely their citizens are skeptics of global warming?
There’s really quite a lengthy list of climate-oriented calamities out
there if you care to spend a few moments looking them up online.
Most of us don’t care to.
So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about global warming, but
no one does anything about it.”
As Gore notes in his article in Rolling Stone magazine: “Most of the news
media completely ignore how such events are connected to the climate
crisis, or dismiss the connection as controversial; after all, there are
scientists on one side of the debate and deniers on the other.”
In our “objective” news media, deniers of global warming get the same
weight of coverage as scientists no matter to what insane extremes our
climate spirals out of control.
One can only imagine, however, that sooner than later the average person
will reach a tipping point tied to the thermometer, the hurricanes, the
floods, the droughts, the wildfires and the rising tides -- where we
finally take the steps needed to save our own skins.
 
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