Politics Talking - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2080856

Politics Talking

Almost weekly, my hair bursts into flames at the sight of letters to you about climate change and much else, spewing absolute, dangerous falsehoods. There was a choice one last week [“Climate Cult”, Letters, February 23] that sent me running to the kitchen-sink faucet.

I don’t suppose you could have a standard editor’s note on all global-warming-denier letters. Catastrophic global warming is a fact. The vast majority of scientists — basically, all credible scientific sources — agree that carbon levels in the atmosphere are driving climate change.

It is widely agreed that much of the planet would be unlivable once the average global temperature exceeds 64 degrees. Even now, with the average just under 58 degrees, huge swaths of the planet cannot sustain human life.

Scientists have determined that there were about 392 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere some 50 million years ago, back when the Earth’s average temperature was in the high 70s. Today, the atmosphere contains way more carbon than that — some 416 parts per million. The only reason the average temperature has not shot up past the 64-degree level is the cooling effect of the ice caps and water on the Earth’s surface. It’s just a matter of time.

Unless, of course, we curb carbon use and begin the complicated and costly process of reducing carbon in the atmosphere. The alternative? To turn against prevailing science and the tsunami, the avalanche, the hurricane of pleas from leaders across the globe to do whatever we can to preserve life on Earth as we know it.

“I was sure the scientists were wrong!” Imagine having to choke up that line when our grandchildren ask our generation what we did to counter an overheated, polluted planet.

As for Biden obstructing oil and gas resources: Utter bunk, although I wish it were true. It just goes to show how people repeat complete malarkey in service to their politics.

In fact, the Biden administration outpaced President Donald Trump in issuing drilling permits on public lands and in the ocean in its first year. What’s more, his administration set a record for the largest offshore oil lease sale ever in the Gulf of Mexico. The United States, in 2021, became the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas for the first time.

Could the oil and gas industry invest in and increase production? Darn right it could. It isn’t, and not because Biden is standing in its way. Instead, they are just enjoying record profits. And, they reckon, why mess with that?

Are oil and gas prices driving inflation? You betcha. But not because Biden is closing the spigot. Another example of politics talking.

Oh, as for my hair? I got to the sink on time. Barely.

Biddle Duke