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Climate change discussion draws readers’ comments

Kris Vance, NRCS cover crops
MAKES SENSE: Practices like using cover crops to sequester carbon make sense whether you believe man is causing climate change or not.
Reader Report: Many people have strong opinions about climate change. Look for common ground.

Our series of articles about climate change, including the IPF Says editorial about moving from non-believer to realist, sparked comments from many readers. Comments came from firm believers, skeptics and those in between.

Here is one response:

Dear editor,

I just couldn’t resist commenting about all the climate change articles. There is no doubt that climates change and have been for a long time. To declare they have stopped would be foolish. Where I live used to be under a glacier, and that was long before cars were running up and down the road that they disappeared.

The million-dollar question is, is it caused by man? Who knows but I have this ingrained belief that it really doesn’t matter. We’re not going to stop driving cars and heating our homes and it is likely the volcano in Hawaii is spewing out more carbon dioxide than all the man-made activity in the last few years. Besides, the way I figure, we need more carbon in the atmosphere to raise enough crops to feed ourselves with an expanding population. I also sort of believe that God’s creation is a little bigger than a high-powered Mustang can destroy and it is borderline arrogant of mankind to declare that we’re the cause, or effect, of everything that happens. 

Maybe it is warming. I don’t have the statistics, but I’m not willing to destroy the economy and our way of life for something that one big belch of a volcano can undo. I also believe we should not be wasting energy. Waste of energy and natural resources is also not being good stewards. Sequestering carbon with cropping practices seems to make economic and productive sense as well as any environmental motive. 

When I travel to places with glaciers, Alaska, Jasper, Alberta, etc., they all have historic markings of where glaciers were in 1600, 1700, etc. and they all have shrunk, no question. But was it man-made carbon that did it or is our world in a constant state of change? For one, I’m glad there isn’t a glacier in my front yard anymore no matter the cause. 

We should stop waste in all forms, and that includes more efficiency in all forms of energy production and usage, but listening to movie stars complain about carbon in the atmosphere while they fly their private jets around just doesn’t do it for me. My guess is there are many who might feel the same way. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what I think, or what in our good desires we decide to do, we’ll adapt. The world’s a bigger place and more resilient than we give it credit.

It’s the cause [of global warming] that concerns me as we tend to overreact and shoot ourselves in the foot. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist, but I do believe this has been latched onto by people with agendas that are simply not good for the country. If we’d all just do our best not to waste things, then let the chips fall where they may. It might help the situation if we all decided to die now and relieve the pressure, but I don’t think that’s part of the proposals. I can get cynical about people who disguise causes they intend to profit from by wrapping it in the belief that they’re doing it for me.

Steve Smith,
Elwood, Ind.

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