Quoting others limits credibility - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

Quoting others limits credibility

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Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:00 am | Updated: 8:54 am, Wed Apr 18, 2012.

Dear Editor: Just a few points about the issues raised by Dr. Desonie's letter (AFN, Nov. 28) regarding global warming. I would have to agree with other writers that the use of Al Gore's writings as a source tends to have a negative impact on her credibility as an expert on this subject. Gore, like other politicians, is known for his elaborations (he "created" the Internet 15 years after it was established and five years after it was in use worldwide by thousands of people) and his book on global warming suffers from the same problem. A previous writer raises an important point, neglected by Desonie and most of the popularizers of the global warming threat. The research efforts by atmospheric scientists on the problem have used computer models to predict consequences if we continue on our present path of dumping CO2 into the atmosphere. But Desonie avoids telling us what they predict will happen if we follow the recommendations of the activists. That is because they predict nothing will happen - the outcome will be virtually the same. All of the programs being proposed to "stop global warming" are a futile exercise, according to these scientists. Either we face up to this reality and develop elaborate technologies to remove the existing CO2 from the atmosphere or we need to make plans to accommodate the changes, as proposed by John McMahon. I am always skeptical when a letter is signed by someone with a title at the end. Desonie does have an advanced degree, to be sure, but in a discipline unrelated to atmospheric science. That makes her somewhat more qualified technically than a pharmacist. There are those who are experts in this field who disagree with her opinions on the subject and there still are many unresolved issues. Finally, let me provide a timely quote from a well-known expert that I think is most relevant to the issues we face. "In the space of one-hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." (Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1866) Robert Sundahl

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