Fear tactics

To the Editor:

In this space a few weeks ago, I joined many of our fellow Americans in praising President Trump for getting us out of that disastrous Paris Accord. I tried to provide facts that convey why getting into that was a great mistake and why abandoning it is the best solution.

However, I notice in a couple of recent letters to the Islander, folks are still either repeating myths on climate or intentionally spreading incorrect facts.

In “Saving Earth,” the author claimed “We are adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than the green plants can absorb it.” That’s a stretch, as the Earth is in fact greening more and more due to the increases in CO2 in the atmosphere. Plus, the Earth could use a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere to help plants grow, which is why greenhouse growers add CO2 to their greenhouses to help plants in their growing stages.

If “climate change” is intended to mean local changes in weather, then the “Saving Earth” author might be correct about individual storms increasing. But over the continental U.S., it has been something like 4,000 days since we have had a category 3 or higher storm.

Sea levels are not rising at an accelerated rate. Again, sea level rise is a somewhat local condition, rising at varying rates at different parts of the world, sometimes because the earth at that location is sinking.

Two recent papers show sea level variability has little to do with CO2 but rather solar activity.

Polar ice caps melting at a rapid rate? A group of 40 scientists on board the CCGS Amundsen, a ship known for its ice-breaking capabilities, had to cancel their Arctic trip scheduled for May 25 due to bad ice conditions off the coast of Newfoundland.

Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace (1971-1986) has stated: “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”

Another letter in the Islander, “Move to solutions,” proposed an initiative on MDI to work toward energy independence, or “A Climate To Thrive.” While an interesting program, there are parts of it that make one wonder “why?”

Again, scare tactics are used to imply the world will collapse if we don’t do something.

Part of ACTT is an effort to Solarize MDI. Why?

Right now, Maine has one of the highest residential electric power rates in the country. If MDI proceeds in solarization, let’s be sure the rates for those who do have to use power from the grid, or have to buy it back when the snow is too deep or the fog too thick, don’t wind up paying more than we are now.

If the Maine government, PUC, etc. can give a discount or tax credit that is worth it, given the cost of panels, installation, etc., then perhaps it will work. But, until there is sufficient, cheap storage for times excess power is produced, then I doubt if solar will really work for MDI in the long run.

Tom Rolfes


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