More Fossil Fuels

To the Editor:
    The tar sands of Canada and the pipeline proposed to carry them to refineries in Texas are being touted as a continuing source of “cheap” energy equal to that of the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.  This unabashed proposal to prolong our use and dependence upon fossil fuels flies directly in the face of the fact that the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas and the resulting release of long-dormant CO2, water, and energy is the driving force behind climate change and severe weather patterns and events.  Despite record industry profits and the likelihood that not all this oil is destined for domestic use, this project will nonetheless receive federal (taxpayer) subsidies and, once again, the pursuit of the God Almighty Dollar will trump the well-being of the world.

Unseasonal Flooding in the World

To the Editor:
With the flooding in Australia being described as “biblical” and a Congressman quoting scripture on the House floor and declaring his faith that God will not again destroy the earth, there is still clearly a need to clear up the understanding of global warming/climate change.  The simple chemistry of burning hydrocarbons is that water, carbon dioxide, and energy (originally from the sun) is released into the atmosphere.  The burning of fossil fuels is the release of water, carbon dioxide, and energy that have not been active on earth for millions of years.  Coal has more polluting components than natural gas, but the central dynamic is the same.
A continually rising level of CO2 in the atmosphere holds in more and more heat which then warms the oceans and melts polar and glacial ice, adding more water to the equation.  And not to be discounted is the addition of energy no longer buried deep within the earth.  The vital, dynamic exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere is becoming increasingly energized.  The occurance of unseasonal flooding, mudslides and severe weather is simply the earth finding a new equilibrium for these elements.
I would not like to say that we are now facing an angry, vengeful God (or gods), but the laws of physics are basically unrelenting and, like the people of Noah’s time, we are bringing this turn of events down upon ourselves.
Robert Porath