My, I must be an ogre. According to a News-Post letter from Jan. 13: I'm partly responsible for respiratory disease. Letter on Jan. 14: I push baseless conspiracy theories. Op-ed on Jan. 16: my only aim is to frighten people into inaction.


The Jan. 13 letter, which also suggests that I suffer from cognitive dissonance, expostulates about air pollution and COPD. The Mayo Clinic says that in the U.S. deaths from COPD are dropping slightly for men, staying about the same for women. Its main cause by far is smoking, then workplace air quality, then air pollution. It hits older folks the most (and the population is aging). If the problem of air-pollution-caused COPD requires replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power (the only viable alternative), then go to it. It will only take 50-100 years. But persuade China, India and Africa first. Forget "green energy" — it's a scam. Even lefty filmmaker Michael Moore agrees (see his latest film).

The Jan. 14 letter claims that I'm seeking evidence for a worldwide socialist conspiracy. Wrong. I merely noticed what certain people/groups are now openly saying or doing. There's really nothing secret about it anymore — check the "Green New Deal" plans of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And for a sterling example of pronouncing a conclusion then trying to back-fill supporting evidence, there's James Hansen's 1988 proclamation of the horror of human-induced global warming. The current predictions of doom are no more credible than all those we've heard over the 32 years since.

It might be tempting to proclaim that the writer of the Jan. 16 op-ed doesn't really believe in global warming and is only interested in scaring people out of their money and their freedom. But I can't read other people's minds. He also says that I'm not a climate scientist. True. If I were I'd have to keep quiet and pretend that I agreed with the "consensus" or risk losing my job (a quandary which I suspect is not uncommon). He states that the Little Ice Age was caused by volcanoes. Could be, but either way, the temperature cycle that I described can be traced back 3,500 years and is entirely natural. He fears that increased CO2 will render the world uninhabitable, ignoring the fact that in the past, CO2 was many times its current level. And Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who popularized the scary two-degree limit, is himself asking folks to calm — he adopted that limit simply because it was, he says, the highest average temperature that humans have had to endure in the past. He didn't presume that anything catastrophic would occur if it were equaled or exceeded (both the limit and the reasoning actually originated in a paper written by an economist back in 1975).

We'll still be here in 2031.

(38) comments

Captain Yossarian

Has the weather always been like this in Frederick MD?


I was just shaking my head reading this victimization screed. Sorry, you are worse than an ogre for refusing to digest distilled science and yes, you are just as nuts as the anti vaccination people that will one day enable a horrible epidemic in this country. Seriously, y'all are stone crazy.

collinsm65 you also support the Flat Earth Society as well? I have a bridge to sell you.

Comment deleted.

Can we not have juvenile posts in this forum?


I am curious as to the writer's educational background. Did he graduate from the Maryland public school system? If so, I suspect no amount of money put towards the Kirwan Comimission's plan will help.

Dose he have any technical background? Where did he really get his information? Has he ever read the "The Death of Expertise The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters" by Tom Nichols?

He has cherry picked data in the past and continues to do so now. He looks at one piece of information at a time but fails to put it all together. He apparently doesn't believe in the concept of cleaning up after oneself since discharging wastes to other people's properties, the atmosphere, etc. in levels high enough to have adverse impacts seems to be acceptable to him.

I think the only thing he got right is his issue with "The Green New Deal" (GND). I am very much pro environmental protection (more progressive on that issue than I've seen most who comment here and certainly most politicians), but the GND is a jobs package pushed using poor estimates and is not likely anywhere close to reality on the costs (for example, they assume wages lower than their proposed minimum wage of $15/hour, etc.), and does not address many real issues such as the impact human population growth is having on the planet.

Additionally, nuclear power is not the only "viable alternative." Individuals can and should be doing more to reduce their own environmental footprint for example, installing solar and geothermal before they ever consider having children. And finally, there are those of us who have spoken our minds regardless of the consequences and if you're working for a reasonable and/or successful organization, they'll want to hear all positions on an issue even if they ultimately don't agree. I always told those above me at EPA not to have me work on something that is not truly in the best interest of the tax payers, and I let them know when that was the case and they respected my position (especially because they couldn't dispute it).



Obadiah Plainsmen

So much data to sort out. While one camp states that rising CO2 levels is warming the planet. Another camp states that the deep Oceans(Pacific) are getting cooler. All of this is latin to me but I did understand the last sentence in the summary.

"Over multicentennial time scales, changes in upper and deep ocean heat content have similar ranges, underscoring how the deep ocean ultimately plays a leading role in the planetary heat budget".


Your post is the poster child of how people who do not fully understand the science manage to mangle things up until they are completely incorrect. You say there is so much data to sort out. Luckily, experts are sorting it out. I suggest you listen to them. This paper does not say what you think it says.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I said it was latin to me and I don't read Latin. Are not Oceans a factor in a changing climate? I'm listening and also using the smell test. While biting off little pieces of data and digesting them. Just haven't swallowed hook, line and sinker like you have. When you swallow things whole without chewing tends to give a person heartburn.


The article does not say the oceans are cooling. It says that the cool ocean water from the little ice age is present in deep-sea locations. The surface of the ocean is warming, the bottom is not "cooling", but it is "cold". So there is no conflict between the "global warming" and this article like you seem to think there is. I am a scientist; it is not Latin to me and I generally understand it.


OP, The problem with you thought process is that you say one "camp" says this and the other says that. This should not be about either camp; it is about what the scientists say, and then what we should do in response to them - not to the camps.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Mr/Ms Scientist,As a climate change kindergartener I got that the Ocean water is just circulating and that the cooler water hasn’t seen the sun in about 600 years. However you failed to address my question. Are Oceans a factor is a changing climate?


Yes; oceans have an impact in a variety of ways on changing climate. I know of at least three ways; as a temperature stabilizer (same reason temperatures are mediated in coastal communities), as a CO2 source/sink, and due to ocean currents (which is more of a weather thing than a climate thing). There may be others.


OP, Excellent question. I pasted it into and got this answer: The ocean plays a fundamental role in mitigating climate change by serving as a major heat and carbon sink. The ocean also bears the brunt of climate change, as evidenced by changes in temperature, currents and sea level rise, all of which affect the health of marine species, nearshore and deep ocean ecosystems. › ocean-and-climate-change


The second hit from my google search says,

"-The ocean is being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from human activities.

This causes changes in water temperature, ocean acidification and deoxygenation, leading to changes in oceanic circulation and chemistry, rising sea levels, increased storm intensity, as well as changes in the diversity and abundance of marine species.

-Degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems threatens the physical, economic and food security of local communities, as well as resources for global businesses.

Climate change weakens the ability of the ocean and coasts to provide critical ecosystem services such as food, carbon storage, oxygen generation, as well as to support nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation.

-The sustainable management, conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems are vital to support the continued provision of ecosystem services on which people depend. A low carbon emissions trajectory is indispensable to preserve the health of the ocean."


As CO2 levels increase, more is absorbed in oceans and water in general. H2O plus CO2 = H2CO3 (carbonic acid)


Don't read the comments or letters that follow if you want to go on thinking as you do in peace. What was your purpose in writing?


More ramblings from a stoically and willfully ignorant right winger calling everything not to his lily white fancy a leftist nonsensical conspiracy. If you have Ted studied climate (I have) or have many climate educated friends and family (I have including PhD father in climatology and glaciology), then your opinion is as valid as a second graders thoughts on the Theory of Relativity. FNP needs to stop posting this ignoramus’ letters already.


This is the opinion page so opinions are fine. But I think factually incorrect statements need to be flagged.

Boyce Rensberger

Factually incorrect statements need to be kept from this page.The editor of letters can't be expected to fact-check every assertion in all letters, but in this case the allegation has been debunked repeatedly and prominently. The editor should be aware of that.

No doubt someone on this page will accuse me of censorship. Knowledgeable readers will see that it is not.


Maybe not Boyce. It can be useful to see what incorrect information is circulating so that it can be corrected as most have done here. The solution to incorrect speech is not less speech, it is more speech.

Boyce Rensberger

But Gabe, this is the umpteenth time Staruk has given his misinformation and had it corrected. Time to move on. Space on the editorial page is finite and there are a hundred other topics of interest that we could be dealing with. Why do the editors keep recirculating the same discredited claims? Staruk is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to keep repeating it here when doing so prevents other people from having their opinions published.


Just think, we let everyone over 18 vote regardless of their ability to think logically. It's almost enough to make one want greater voter restrictions. In addition to not letting felons vote, those convicted of tosh spouting should be denied the right to vote too.


Perhaps, melting icebergs; retreating glaciers; disappearing islands and cultures; flooding streets in Miami; record heat; record force hurricanes; government scientists not allowed to use the term "climate change" so as not to offend the fossil fuel industry; scientists leaving government in record numbers; melting permafrost and methane bubbling up from the sea floor are meaningless to some?

Boyce Rensberger

Yet again the FNP wishes us to read Staruk's false claims. He says carbon dioxide levels have been "many times" higher in the past than they are now. That is totally wrong. The CO2 level now is way higher than it has ever been in the last 800,000 years. It is now about double what it was during the last interglacial--the warm period between ice ages.

Staruk displays his ignorance of science again in saying that there is pressure on scientists to conform to the prevailing view. Hardly. The scientist who overturns conventional wisdom is celebrated-- as long as he or she produces powerful evidence to back it up. Evidence is the key word, evidence bordering on proof.


So..800,000 years ago CO2 levels were higher than today. Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

Boyce Rensberger

No, levels weren't higher then. That's just the oldest I found in graph of CO2 levels from now to back then. I didn't bother to look for older data. The level back then was much lower than it is now.


Classy Bunny. Taking cues from the president I see, can't dispute, revert to grade school.

Boyce Rensberger

BunnyLou: That's not an avatar. That is a photograph of me. I am one of the very few people on this site who comment in one's own name. Am I supposed to be ashamed of looking as I do? I'm even older now than when that picture was taken.


Not sure what you would wonder about jloo. Life forms were much different then. Humans weren't even around. The fact that this is really happening is indisputable. You may try, but you better have a convincing argument with data. Right now the only counter argument we hear is "is not". Not convincing at all.


Not to mention that under the 8 years of GWB and the last three under DJT, one would expect that research that falsified the current theories would be celebrated and well funded.

Comment deleted.

Bunny = jersey????


Is there a point to this letter?

Alice Jones

Is there ever a point to his 'contributions'?

Comment deleted.



Excerpt: “ . If I were [a climate scientist] I'd have to keep quiet and pretend that I agreed with the "consensus" or risk losing my job (a quandary which I suspect is not uncommon). “

But you said you were not a mind reader.


I don't think "ogre" is the right term. Guess again.

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