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CLIMATE: Warming will have a plus side, too

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on Aug. 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm | No Comments »
August 17, 2010 1:28 pm

The editorial on global warming, “To its shame, U.S. is playing a starring role in disaster” (TNT, 8-16), might be characterized as “intemperate.”

America’s citizenry is not even agreed that a problem exists, and certainly not that a “disaster” is imminent. It is true that the “permafrost” of Alaska and northern Canada has turned out not to be “perma,” and melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean and Greenland is proceeding apace. This means that several decades from now some portions of the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas will be underwater.

Unlike “global cooling,” however, and the advent of the 19th ice age of the last 2.5 million to 3 million years, which would indeed be catastrophic to all mankind, “global warming” will have winners and losers.

World shipping will gain hugely when the Arctic Ocean is ice-free for several months a year, and warmer climates in Canada, Alaska and Siberia will increase the population holding capacities of those areas. Greenland is early in the process of becoming a “green land,” and agricultural opportunities are already increasing there.

Yes, we Americans should map out and implement a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 70 to 80 percent over 50 years or so, but please, no screaming if we fail to rank this as our top national priority.

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