Letter: Concern for environment not ‘wacko’ | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Concern for environment not ‘wacko’

I’m compelled to write after reading Bob Anderson’s letter of Nov. 6, in which he says that “environmental wackos” are “making ridiculous claims.”

First, I find no record of Secretary Kerry having made the first remark that Mr. Anderson quotes – a search for it leads only to Mr. Anderson’s letter, even though all of Secretary Kerry’s remarks are available online through the State Department website.

Second, Mr. Anderson disputes Secretary Kerry’s alleged statement with factual inaccuracies of his own. He writes, “…the ice age of around 20,000 years ago, when palm trees grew in Antarctica, grapes grew in northern England and there was a glacier where Chicago is today.”

He is correct that 21,000 years ago the Laurentide ice sheet extended as far south as Chicago. This is the only true thing he says. Grapes did not grow in England 20,000 years ago because, a. England was also glaciated at the time and b. grapes originated in the Middle East ca. 8,000 years ago. If Mr. Anderson has mixed his dates and is referring to the cultivation of medieval vineyards in England, these only grew in the south of the country. His claim about palm trees in Antarctica is also incorrect. Fossils of Antarctic palms are from the Eocene period, ca. 52 million years ago, when the earth had twice the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as it does today. The lead author on the study publishing those fossils notes, “If the current CO2 emissions continue unabated due to the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, as they existed in the distant past, are likely to be achieved within a few hundred years.”

I don’t have the room here to rebut Mr. Anderson’s description of greenhouse gases, but it displays a seemingly willful desire to misrepresent facts. As for the farting cows – livestock and their manure account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S.’s total methane emissions, which are a major component in human-produced greenhouse gases.

Mr. Anderson snaps, “These environmental wackos like Kerry, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. don’t care about facts.” Pot, kettle, black?

Jamie Anderson (no relation)

Glenwood Springs

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