I long ago decided that Ross Talbott must be writing his "Out On A Limb" columns to cause controversy, not to inform, and not for factual content, since there is scarcely any. But once in a while, as with his Dec. 4 global warming con job column, he does this community and those who read this paper a disservice.
Mr. Talbott believes that unless you believe in Jesus Christ, when you die you're going to hell. I don't subscribe to that, so if I am wrong then I as an individual will suffer the consequences.
Global climate change is not the same thing. If Mr. Talbott is wrong and there is global climate change, then probably our children, and surely our grandchildren will suffer the consequences. Mr. Talbott, that is just too big a limb to be out on.
Scientists have recognized that something was amiss in our atmosphere, and in 1984 the late Sally Ride launched the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) into orbit. Its mission was to verify how much heat was hitting Earth and how much heat it is expelling. The immediate return from this satellite was confirmation that the ozone was being depleted by CFC's, and we have since banned their use.
Of course I don't expect Mr. Talbott to believe that CFC's, DDT or a host of banned medicines were any problem - government interference, abortion, lack of school prayer, or too many taxes was the real problem.
If Mr. Talbott knew there was a change in the cloud cover in the days after 9/11 - he got that right - then the farmer in him should have known about global dimming. If he does know about it, I doubt that he would write about it. There is ample scientific research and statistics that confirm the Earth is a minimum of 4 percent dimmer than it was before the Industrial Age - the vast majority of it human caused. That sounds like global climate change talk, doesn't it?
As reported in a Denver Post article by Patrick Rucker of Reuters, there is yet another way we are subsidizing the fossil fuel economy. This is in the form of an accounting manipulation that allows coal producers to short the federal land upon which they mine, of royalties. If coal leases are priced as cheaply as oil and gas leases, these companies have already received rights to savage our public land at bargain prices.
But back to the accounting maneuver which currently is unregulated by the Office of Natural Resources and Revenue: Coal is valued "at low domestic prices rather than the much higher prices fetched overseas," thus avoiding the higher royalty payment to the landowner - you and me. Coal producers are also allowed to deduct costs of doing business, such as all shipping costs to foreign countries.
Keep in mind that pollution knows no borders. Outsourcing coal-powered pollution to unregulated China is causing weather changes that are becoming miserably out-of-control the Earth over. We are paying to make our coal cheaper than domestic Chinese coal.
Please be active and demand change from your representatives for these and the other $13 billion in oil and gas subsidies. Time is short. Democracy is participatory.