Citizen Action Monitor

My letter in support of Dr Hansen’s “Silence is Deadly” appeal

No 187 Posted by fw, June 5, 2011

Further to the preceding post, Dr Jim Hansen: Further exploitation of tar sands will have “disastrous global climate impacts.” Urges scientific community to join “this fray now.” today I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Windsor Star in support of Dr Hansen’s Silence is Deadly appeal to the scientific community. My letter is strictly a cut, reposition and paste of Hansen’s key points. I sent courtesy copies to selected city councillors, my federal member of parliament and a couple of community activists. My postscript remarks to the editor may also be of interest.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Editor:

Please consider the following letter for publication:

“If this [pipeline] project gains approval, it will become exceedingly difficult to control the tar sands monster. Exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts.”

So writes the eminent climatologist, Dr James Hansen, in his urgent Silence is Deadly appeal to the global scientific community to raise their voices in opposition to the proposed pipeline project to carry Alberta’s tar sands oil to Texas refineries. The proposed project is before the U.S. State Department right now.

Acknowledging that the State Department seems likely to approve the pipeline, Hansen laments that “Governments are acting as if they are oblivious to the fact that there is a limit on how much fossil fuel carbon we can put into the air.” He points out that a prior government target to limit global warming to 2°C is now known to be inadequate, and is actually a recipe for global climate disasters.

Dr Hansen further warns that if tar sands emissions are thrown into the mix of other fossil fuel emissions, it is essentially game over.

In his submission to the State Department, Hansen emphasized that the project’s analysis is flawed and insufficient, failing to account for important information regarding human-made climate change that is now available. He also asserts that the pipeline will result in large adverse environmental impacts that must be evaluated before the project is considered further.

Admitting that objections by themselves are unlikely to stop project approval, Hansen concludes his appeal on a positive note: “It is my impression and understanding that a large number of objections could have an effect and help achieve a more careful evaluation, possibly averting a huge mistake.”

Yours truly, etc.

Here’s the postscript:

I urge the Star to moderate readers’ comments submitted to the digital edition. The time has come to set some standards in order to elevate the discussion above the level of personal insults and unsubstantiated opinion — such as, for example, the two I have pasted below. And it’s often the same people who submit this kind of dribble. Speaking personally, comments such as these, as well as others that I have seen in your Letters section, are enough to discourage responsibly informed citizens from participating in a serious exchange of ideas. These are serious times that call for serious discussion among serious adults. Other news and information sources have standards that filter out misinformed and uninformed comments submitted by readers — why not the Star?

Here are the sample comments (I expect I may be seeing similar ones posted in response to my letter, if it is published) —

2 Comment(s) published in response to the story: C02 emissions highest level ever in 2010 wake-up call to world: energy agency. Both contain unsubstantiated false and misleading information. Unfortunately, by accepting this dribble, the Star has given both individuals the attention and credence of acceptability they are seeking.

Valid [reader’s pseudonym], 31 May 2011, 07:13

You cannot believe the source, you cannot believe the cause and effect being forecast and of course the basic premise that Global Warming exists is a proven lie. The earth’s temperature has been neutral up to a few years ago when in fact the earth cooled slightly. The northern hemisphere is warming slightly while the southern hemisphere is cooling all caused by solar flares, ocean currents and a myriad of other factors.
Articles like this should be accompanied with a disclaimer. Remember the headlines from agencies and the press in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that the earth was heading into a deep freeze? They all have an ulterior motive for misleading you, the public. Al Gore is a proven huxster. He lives larger than any of us as do all the other people making money from the Global Warming hoax.

Why56 [reader’s pseudonym], 31 May 2011, 07:50

They are probably high because of all the greenheads travelling by jet to spread their false gospel.

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2011 by in climate change, information counterpower and tagged , .
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