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posted: 8/6/2014 5:01 AM

There's a deeper truth on climate change

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Sunday's Opinion page had a letter from a lawyer who tried to show that humans have nothing to do with global warming. He based his case on getting a "yes" answer to: "Have there been periods of heat and ice ages before the internal combustion engine? Yes or no? Any other answer will be stricken as nonresponsive."

The answer, of course is "yes." But this is an old lawyer's trick to fool you, the reader -- use only part of the truth but conceal or strike the rest, which would prove him wrong.

What truth did he leave out? Over the ages, climate is affected by the sun, slow changes in the earth's orbit, volcanism, and other well-known factors. Put these natural variations together in a graph, and you'll find that temperature's ups and downs closely track nature's ups and downs.

But since the early 20th century, the temperature deviates upward from nature more and more. And what does that deviation track? The post-industrial rise in man-made carbon dioxide. Verdict: guilty!

I commend the author's stand on filtering coal and oil production (assuming he means via carbon capture), and hope he would include coal-fed electric power plants. But I wish he'd been more positive about the renewable energies, wind and solar. They are becoming cost-competitive with old power, and could be the basis for America's leading the world in energy, with tens of thousands of new jobs.

John F Moore