Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ruth Afifi 7/23/2015 Thanks for Correcting Mini-Ice Age Rumor

Thanks for correcting mini-ice age rumor

Many thanks for reprinting “News about imminent ‘mini-ice age’ not true” on July 15.

In contrast, because of a faulty interpretation of one study about sunspots, the Portland Oregonian and other news sources warned people to “enjoy summer now, a new ice age is coming.”

I applaud The Bee for setting the record straight.

Ruth Afifi, Fresno

Matt Armstrong 7/19/2015 Let Consumers Decide

Let Consumers Decide
July 19, 2015

I am writing in response to the op-ed written by Ashley Swearengin and Lucy Dunn (“Be careful on sweeping climate change bill” July 10).

I appreciate that they are concerned about the potential economic impacts of the governor’s plan to address climate change, but unchecked global warming will do significant harm to the global economy (especially in agricultural areas like the San Joaquin Valley). If we are asked to not address climate change in order to avoid economic woes, we are behaving like someone plundering their retirement account to solve easy, short-term money problems.

The Citizen’s Climate Lobby has proposed a solution that would address many of Mayor Swearengin’s and Ms. Dunn’s concerns: carbon fee and dividend. Under this plan, a fee is collected on fossil-fuel extraction, and then returned to the public as part of a monthly dividend.

This plan would put pressure on producers to be more efficient in their use of energy and materials and to shift towards non-polluting energy sources, while keeping money in the pockets of consumers, stimulating the economy. This would spur innovation by putting decisions in the hands of consumers on the open market.

Matt Armstrong

Pete Moe 6/28/2015

Pope Francis leads
June 28, 2015

Bravo to our Pope Francis and The Bee Editorial Board. It’s not easy to change course from longstanding dogma or longstanding political bias, but it is certainly happening.

As a Christian, I celebrate our ability to model God’s world with science, and protect the health and beauty of the only world we have. Let’s take on our man-made climate problems and discuss the possible solutions in a manner that God will be proud of.

Pete Moe

Twyla Smith 6/26/2015 Action Required

Action Required
June 26, 2015

I am not a Catholic. However, I commend Pope Francis for recognizing global weather disruption as a moral issue. It is truly immoral that humankind would choose business as usual, sucking up every last drop of oil in order to enrich the rich and leaving a sadly degraded world behind, when a workable solution is within reach.

We, the people, must inform our representatives of this solution and convince them we want and demand action on this issue. That is why nearly 900 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers went to Washington, D.C., this week.

Politicians need to know that carbon fee and dividend policies, like the one proposed by CCL, have been implemented successfully. In British Columbia, a similar policy not only reduced emissions, but created jobs, lowered income taxes and stimulated the economy.

Go to to find out more, get involved, or tell your congressional representative that you support “carbon fee and dividend.” And don’t believe for one second you’re doing it to save plants and animals, our water supply, the oceans, the very earth we live on for the next generation — you’re doing it for all of us, those living today.

Twyla Smith,
Citizens’ Climate Lobby,
Fresno Chapter

Ray West 6/11/2015 Real Gas Costs

Real Gas Costs

June 11, 2015

The  letter by Lloyd Carter (June 7) bemoans the subsidization of fossil fuels as described by the International Monetary Fund. This IMF working paper points out a glaring fault of “market” economies. They simply discount the enormous cost of burning fossil fuels as “externalities,” and ignore it.

Forget the suffering, grief, illness; tthe strictly financial global cost of burning fossil fuel is more than $5 trillion per year. That is the equivalent of about $3 per gallon of gasoline. The IMF paper advocates taxing fossil fuels in order to account for their costs, strictly because of existing economic realities.

That cost will increase dramatically into the future because of heat-trapping gas emissions and the resulting climate change.

Most people throughout the world can not pay this $3 per gallon. Rather than subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly (by ignoring their external costs), tax fossil fuels and then return all the revenue of the tax directly back to the people.

Few would be foolish enough to waste their share of the revenue on expensive, wasteful and polluting forms of energy. Most would seek out better sources of energy and drive innovation in energy production and conservation.


Don Gaede 5/9/2015 What Hanson Left Out

What Hanson Left Out
May 9, 2015
I am quite pleased that Victor Davis Hanson trusts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when writing about the California drought (May 3). He is absolutely correct, NOAA does not feel that this severe drought is due to man-made climate change.
But he failed to mention something else in NOAA’s report: “There has been no long-term trend in California precipitation; however, California temperatures have been rising, and record high temperatures during the drought were likely made more extreme due to human-induced climate change.”

NOAA goes on: “The effect of a warmer climate on surface moisture implies droughts that occur will be initiated sooner and ended later than if human-induced climate change were not occurring.”
Closing our minds to evidence that we don’t like will not help us Californians deal with this serious drought. We humans do have a role in causing climate change, and the sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can start repairing the damage. 
A combined approach of increasing water storage (as Hansen recommends) while also addressing the causes and effects of climate change seems like the smartest policy to me.

Don Gaede