Human Sparked Climate Change

To the Editor:

The frustrating aspect of the denial of human sparked climate change is that it chooses to ignore the basic chemistry of oxidation, particularly that of the combustion of fossil fuels.  The carbon, hydrogen, and energy present in oil, natural gas, and coal have lain dormant in the earth for millions of years.  When burned, these element combine with oxygen and release levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor, and heat (plus various other chemical compounds) that are now active in the atmosphere.  Climate science is the attempt to understand what this means for the future of every living thing on the planet.  This part is not simple science.  It is globally complex.  Climate scientists have been threatened with losing funding for their research by pro-industry Republicans since the Bush Administration and are wary, with reason, of speaking out forcefully, but to set this exploration aside is not only short-sighted, it is dangerous.

Robert Porath

Environment and Energy: What is the solution?

To the Editor:
Considering that the burning of fossil hydrocarbons, with all its ramifications on the planet, will likely continue for decades to come, is The Question of the 21st Century, can technology solve the difficulties it has created?  If there is an analogy in asking, will the financial sector repair the calamity it created?  the odds on correction appear slim.  There are times I think the people I saw gathering firewood with their three-wheeled pedi-cycles along a freeway in Yucatan may be more insightful futurists than all our high tech gurus combined.  Sustainability is a word certain to be overused in the coming years in reference to food production, but, wakening to a world of limited resources, a prime concern will be,  what are appropriate, viable, and sustainable means and levels of energy production and consumption?  This should be the first focus of industry, science, and government.  The rest is just window dressing.