Friday letters: Chemistry, resolving to be better, misrepresentation

Fact check

Just a note commenting that when I was a student/teacher of chemistry, I learned/taught that Thorium was an element (atomic number 90, atomic mass 232) not a cancer causing organic chemical (compound?). 

If I could somehow receive Mr. Gluckman’s source (12/23 letters) for his research into Thorium I would appreciate it, as it has been almost 25 years since I was active in the field of chemistry.

There is “no denying climate change,” but correct facts need to be presented.

Larry Strohmeyer, Rifle

Better resolve in the new year

At 70 I no longer bother with New Year’s resolutions. I am content with who I am and where I am. In 2023 I hope simply to keep working to hone my skills in photography and cooking (there is nothing like fresh homemade pasta!). I may also write more often. I’ve also rediscovered the pleasure of a good cigar. Above all, I hope that my wife Paula’s Alzheimer’s progresses more slowly.

I too share a desire for “resolutions” for others, particularly in climate progress, the Colorado River and in our divisive political sphere. I hope sincerely that the Republicans move, however reluctantly, back to sanity. I hope this especially for our “representative” in Congress. May she learn more about history and reality. I hope the Democrats wake up and realize that these aren’t the old days of glory in the 1960s and ’70s. We need more civil and respectful discourse in this new year. Talk is cheap. Listening is priceless.

We are all, to paraphrase Shakespeare, engaged on a journey into an undiscovered country whether we accept that reality or not.

We face many troubling issues. America can be great again, but not in the mold of the past. Looking through the rear-view mirror won’t solve anything. We face immense problems, in our global and local society as well as our environment. Many are the result of our “lifestyle” and the near religious notions that our economy and all its underpinning assumptions are sacred and unassailable. They are not.

I also hope for a reduction of hate and the violence it spawns, especially from the far right. There is no place in a truly great America for such a terrible disease. My wife is Jewish and I have a very talented nephew born as my niece.

The NYT Magazine had an excellent piece on the history of the Civil War and the potential for new violence, “The Irrepressible Conflict.” Everyone should read it.

I hope it does not take a real crisis, domestic or environmental, to make us come to our senses. I fear it will.

Ken Neubecker, Glenwood Springs

Misrepresented on climate, COVID

Who would have thought simply asking people to live out their philosophies and be the change they want to see in the world would be turned into me believing climate change (and COVID) was a hoax (12/26 letters). Speaking on behalf of the ignoramuses, the climate change debate comes down to three things: 1. how imminent the threat is; 2. how capable we are to deal with it; and, 3. how “clean” are the solutions?

Before addressing these issues, let me start by being very clear: COVID and climate change are both very real. Neither are a hoax as I’ve supposedly said (it’d be nice to see the exact quote from 2021). Viruses have been around for millennia. The climate has been changing for millennia. To express shock at either is the real problem as it leads to the panicked masses accepting draconian measures to deal with them.

Let us reason together: politicians and bureaucrats have failed to stop terrorism, failed to solve homelessness, failed to secure our borders and cannot even deliver reliable power during this recent winter storm, yet somehow, we think those in power can stop the climate from changing? Further, it is hard to be convinced of the urgency of this crisis when we see so many powerful people talk about the threat of climate change from fancy resorts they flew to on private jets and then return home to their carbon spewing mansions.

Regarding the solutions, it’s entertaining to read the self-righteous rallying cries from elitists for “future generations” as they ignored the damage COVID mandates had on children or how we’ve saddled them with crippling debt, while also ignoring how the “green” products are delivered to them. 

Before plugging in your EV and patting yourself on the back, do a quick search on how cobalt is mined in the Congo and then look into how these batteries are disposed. Energy sources should be evaluated through the entire lifecycle, not simply the use phase.

To reiterate: neither climate change or COVID are hoaxes. 

The debate is whether or not the masses should accept a lower standard of living and less freedom to address them.

Chase McWhorter, Carbondale

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