'Consensus' over climate crumbling
I know we make our personal decisions based on information that we assimilate from the sources we respect. However, in the case of human-caused global warming, more scientists are now speaking out against the commonly held theory, and the so-called, "consensus" is crumbling.
In particular, 400 international scientists were listed in the 2007 report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works debunking the "consensus" on man-made global warming. More recently, the Global Warming Petition Project has received signatures from over 30,000 scientists, including over 9,000 with Ph.D.s, which is 15 times the number of Ph.D.s associated with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Their premise is supported by a past president of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Frederick Seitz. Their petition states that there is no convincing scientific evidence that carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gases, cause global temperature increases, and further, that carbon dioxide from humans has positive effects on the planet's plants and animals.
The climate of Earth has been in a global-warming trend for 18,000 years, when global surface temperatures have increased about 16 degrees F and sea levels have risen about 300 feet. Furthermore, interpretative data from 400,000 years of Vostok ice cores shows that increases in temperature preceded increases in carbon dioxide by 400 to 4,000 years. In addition, the warmest period of the last 1,000 years was during the Medieval Warm Period, when Greenland was actually green and being farmed by the Vikings.
Most alarming is the observation that gradual increases in global surface temperatures, occurring from the late 1970s to 1997, actually declined in 1998 and have remained fairly steady until 2007, when they declined 0.6 degrees C further. If our temperatures continue to decline, an ice age could be in our children's future, which would not be a good thing for life as we know it.
Ron Pifer, Stevensville
Take a look at long-term trends
Like all newspaper columnists, George Will is paid to state his opinion. But he's not entitled to make up his own facts. And he definitely runs afoul when he attributes false facts to others who provide reams of evidence to the contrary.
The World Meteorological Organization says global temperatures have not risen in a decade, Will asserts (Missoulian, June 3). That's false. While 1998 is right up there with 2007 as the hottest year ever recorded, because 1998 was a strong El Nino year, WMO has clearly stated that, "The decade from 1998 to 2007 has been the warmest on record."
But what about George Will and Rush Limbaugh's recent insistence that the Earth is cooling, with 1998 as the high-temperature mark? WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud has swatted down these claims. "For detecting climate change you should not look at any particular year, but instead examine the trends over a sufficiently long period of time. The current trend of temperature globally is very much indicative of warming," he said in an April 4 statement to the media.
Look it up yourself on the WMO Web site.
With all the looming climate issues facing Montana agriculture, water, forests and communities, Will's twisted facts and misrepresentations have no place on the Missoulian's Opinion page.
Steve Thompson, Whitefish
No one will go to fair if it's moved
How's this for an argument about moving the fairgrounds: If you move, no one will go to the fair.
Heck, you lost over half of us anyway, including myself, when you people eliminated horse racing.
Lyle Vinson, Missoula
Ron Paul still has GOP support
I was at my local monthly Republican Central Committee meeting June 5, and although I'm new to much of what is going on, I understood the very real need for us to work harder on getting the word out about Dr. Ron Paul.
Even mentioning his name and one talking point to people who think he dropped out shows them he still has support and we will not fence-hop to keep the guys we really don't want out of office - what kind of way to vote is that?
We still need every voice we can. It's not hard to speak your mind, but if anyone but Ron Paul gets into office, we won't be allowed to do that come some day very soon.
McCain is not the nominee, no matter how many times you have heard that broadcasted or seen it printed. For that matter, neither is Barack Obama. Something most folks don't understand is that the primary does not select a nominee. That process doesn't even take place until after the national convention this fall. Plead with your friends and family not to use that word, and not to accept its usage in any circle. It is plainly not true - making it a lie. Now, presumptive nominee is correct, but there are only presumptive nominees because the media is telling us this every day - we are lemmings and tend to join what we think everyone else is joining.
Name recognition says a lot for some campaigns. That's why advertising is helpful and also why we should be telling people about Ron Paul still, even after the upset at the primary elections. It's not over till the fat lady sings; even Hillary Clinton gets that, why don't we?
Sandra Schell, Polson
Folf should be played on managed land
Regarding the June 9 editorial on folfing in the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area:
Forty acres out of 1,600 may not seem like much for a single sport, but what is to prevent other sports from asking for equal space? (Paintball is the most recent unapproved intruder.) According to a forestry school survey, 90 percent of PCRA users are hikers who ask for nothing more than a natural area where they are away from the city, can walk in a forest, and where, occasionally, they have the joy of seeing wildflowers and wildlife. How many acres should be allotted to them?
Folf is patterned after golf, a sport that is well managed on a course that is well maintained. The Forest Service, whose budget has been cut irresponsibly in the past Reagan-Clinton-Bush administrations, has no money to maintain a proper folf course, nor should it be expected to. The mistake was made over 15 years ago when a vagrant activity that involved hard, plastic discs and numbers painted on trees received the tacit approval of the Missoula Ranger District.
From that decision we have inherited 20- to 30-foot paths of barren earth, giant ponderosas with inch-deep vertical scars as high as 20 feet up the tree, and a diminished number of wildlife, including nesting birds.
Folf is a healthy, outdoor sport, as is golf, and like golf it should be played on well-managed land.
Mavis McKelvey, Missoula
Fun like a roller coaster ride
I had a blast at the state square dance festival.
I just finished taking lessons a month ago, but not going didn't even cross my mind. See, the trick is to pretend you know what you're doing. I saw even the most experienced dancers miss a step, but square dancers just smile and keep going until they find someone to dance with. That way it looks like we knew what we were doing all along.
I'm 26 and my friends and family tease me a little, but they just don't understand how much fun it is - it's like a roller coaster ride with your feet on the ground. You get that heady, spinny feeling and a case of perma-grin (can't stop smiling). I was thrilled to see a group of teens jazzing it up - there were 10 kids, and a square only holds eight, so they would cut in on each other and then a girl was dancing the boy's part and a boy dancing the girl's part and then two girls made one couple and two boys another - I even saw an all-girls square!
I also left the state square dance festival with dozens of stories stemming from single seniors becoming smitten with each other and hooking up - or trying not to; the stories and jokes told at the after-party in the RV; and doing the can-can. You heard me - the can-can!
I am so glad I went. What a good time; and the tradition of thanking each other after a dance really gives a sense of community that is noticeably lacking in everyday life. I feel fortunate to be a part of that community.
Sally White, Lolo
Congress, environmentalists to blame
High fuel prices are not to be blamed on oil companies, OPEC or any other related entities.
High fuel prices are the fault of weak and spineless members of Congress who sold out to environmentalism. When Congress sends the earth- and animal-huggers packing, starts drilling for new oil and begins building more refineries, the citizens of this country will begin to reap the fruit of energy independence.
Edna Kent, Florence