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TOTAL PICTURE: Wind turbines in North Dakota generate electricity.

Look at ‘whole picture’ when addressing climate change

Letter to the Editor: Basic science and environmental cost of manufacturing must be considered in climate change.

In reading the most recent Dakota Farmer, I must point out a basic science error in your article, "Group searches for northern cover crop success” (Jan. 2020, page 55, North Dakota version). In it you mention that carbon converts to nitrogen at different times every year. Carbon is an element – as is nitrogen. Carbon will not and cannot convert to anything other than carbon.

I also don’t agree with Dave Nada’s article "How carbon dioxide impacts climate" (January 2020, page 28). Mr. Nada states that NASA concurs on global warming being caused by the use of fossil fuels. I have read many reports that state NASA scientist debunk global warming being caused by human activity.

Case in point: a volcanic eruption can spew more gasses and material in the atmosphere in a single event than mankind can do in decades. And let’s once again go back to basic science — plants consume carbon dioxide as they grow and in return produce oxygen — the oxygen we breathe. 

I agree with his concepts of planting trees and cover crops to enhance this process. While not against renewable energy in any form, I don’t think the “whole picture” is looked at: How are the basic materials to construct the “green” machines procured (mined, smelted, etc.)? How is the electricity produced to power electric equipment (coal, natural gas, wind, water)? 

Again, how is the wind and water equipment manufactured?

Youngs is vice president of Garrison State Bank & Trust, Garrison, N.D.

Editor’s note: Dave Franzen, North Dakota State University Extension soils specialist, says we should have written that “N is released from organic matter through mineralization at different times of the year.”

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