Letters to the editor: Nov. 8, 2019

Fueling a climate catastrophe

I hope Mr. Sommerfeld is carefully preserving his letters alleging climate change hysteria.

The day will come, within the next couple of decades, when even he will begin to accept what science has been telling us for more than a century, starting with  Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Rereading them at that point will not bring him any comfort.

He asks, “How arrogant can humankind be to think it can alter the course of climate?” I wonder if he accepts the fact that humanind:

Has the nuclear ability to not only alter the climate, but also exterminate life.

Has been able to induce earthquakes? Oklahoma has concluded fracking and the associated injection of tremendous amounts of water back into the earth has been responsible for a dramatic increase in earthquakes.

Has depleted parts of our atmosphere’s ozone layer through use of chlorofluorocarbons. Phasing out such chemicals under the Montreal Protocol of 1989 has triggered ozone restoration expected to complete the job by 2030.

Has boosted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a a result of the industrial revolution and the burgeoning fossil fuel use it has fostered. It stood at 280 parts per million prior to the industrial revolution, but now exceeds 400 parts.

Sadly, the damage isn’t limited to the atmosphere. The oceans absorb a large share of the excess carbon dioxide themselves, and that turns them more acidic.

The pH of the oceans has dropped approximately 0.1 pH unit. The scale is logarithmic, so this represents a 28 percent increase in acidity.

This interferes with calcification of marine life structures, thus contributing to the bleaching of coral reefs and softening of scallop, crab and lobster shells. Continued acidification will eventually destroy the oceans as a source of food.

Humankind has the capacity for a whole spectrum of great harms. Why should we exclude global warming from that list?

Les Howsden



Beware of psychotropics

The opioid crisis continues in the news. Another drug issue of concern is the prescription of powerful mind-altering, brain-chemistry-changing psychotropic drugs — and not just by psychiatrists, but also primary care providers.

Psychotropic drugs are not adequately tested. That can lead to permanently damaging outcomes.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, known as SSRIs, now carry black box warnings for suicidal tendencies. This seems OK to the public, which still condones their use, ironically, as antidepressants. But I believe some of our mass shootings are side effects of such violence-inducing psychotropics. Psychotropics are also highly addictive, thus difficult to kick. Side effects often lead to addition of even more drugs, to the extent one can lose sight of the presenting issues as the patient declines.

This cocktail of drugs keeps the patient in a relationship with the provider, profiting the drug companies. Given an understanding of the patient’s background, all it takes sometimes is time and a compassionate ear, without these often-toxic drugs.

I am not against a trial of antidepressants or a baseline of medications to deal with acute or even chronic situations. But I am against the willy nilly of prescription of multiple trial drugs, which can be so destabilizing. Patients keep getting additional DSM codes, leading to prescription of more and more drugs. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is very good for support in the community, but is highly funded by the pharmaceutical companies. It is involved in the school system, where children are being placed on these drugs to start with.

Some children may require interventions. But we need to protect the rest from these drugs, even if the resulting sedation seems easier to deal with.

Please read books by Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist, to learn the truth about over-use of these drugs.

Deborah Schwartzkopff



Addressing climate emergency

In his demeaning, climate-science-denying diatribe, “Climate change hysteria,” Steve Sommerfeld trashes MHS science teacher Laura Syring, the integrity of her students, the science-based plan presented to the city council and pretty much anything of legitimate empirical truth, even Jesus.

His purpose, it seems, is protecting children from climate scientists and their fear-mongering teacher, alleging she has stolen from them the very “joy of living!”

Finally, he quotes the Bible, which impresses me as a faith leader. Poor Jesus. Save us from your people. It’s so easy to co-opt words of comfort and power to the powerless, manipulating them for the privileged to find cheap joy in ignorance of the future. While I’m not sure his letter deserves a response, I want Ms. Syring and the students to know there are thousands standing behind their work, supporting actions many of their generation ask of city councils and tribunals around the world. In fact, on Nov. 5, more than 11,000 researchers from 153 nations gave students even more permission to care. Under the auspices of the Alliance of World Scientists, they warned us we are facing a true climate emergency.

Authored by OSU researchers William J. Ripple and Christopher Wolf, it begins: “Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and ‘tell it like it is.’ Therefore, we declare, with 11,258 scientist signatories worldwide, unequivocally that Earth faces a climate emergency.” In conclusion they share their hope: “We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern. Governmental bodies make climate declarations. Schoolchildren strike. Ecocide lawsuits proceed in the courts.” Far from fear-mongering, all generations are speaking as never before. Give thanks for students and teachers like Laura Syring. They are hope-mongers!

When we publicly express terror and articulate dreams, we find greatest joy in community with others who also care about the planet.

Rev. John Pitney



Don Dix

Rev. John Pitney -- you claim a writer is 'bashing ... pretty much anything of legitimate empirical truth' Would that 'truth' include the faith that historical readings of climate and temperature (read 'empirical') have not been manipulated to make a faulty hypothesis appear 'legitimate'?

And please explain how the 'temperature of the Earth' is measured accurately when recording sites have been abandoned or disappeared from the from the data sets -- mostly in Canada and Russia (must be cold temps that skew the dialogue). Pre 1972 raw temps have been adjusted down -- while post 1973 raw temps have been adjusted up -- can you say 'fit the narrative'?

Finally, just for kicks, where can one achieve a degree in 'climate science', not environmental science, but actual climate science (not 'climate computer modeling')?


If there was any doubt about bias in the mainstream media, it is gone. Since 'impeachment' began, evening news on ABC, CBS, & NBC has been 96% negative (see link). That is a twenty-five to one negative to positive ratio. Wow. I might have expected this on CNN & MSNBC, but the mainstream as well? Sheesh.



Remembering my graduate school statistics, I thought I’d calculate the probability of this result assuming an unbiased media was like a fair coin, 50-50 heads or tails. The coin toss calculator I discovered on the web rounded down to zero so I found an advanced calculator (see link). Basically, the odds are approximately one over three with twenty-three zeros behind it that the so-called mainstream media is unbiased (calculate odds of 4 heads out of 100 coin tosses). I don’t know about you, but in my world those are mighty slim odds.



Well you must admit...there isn’t much positive news coming from The Administration these days....so that might skew your study...


During the timeframe for this study the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was taken down. I wonder what Obama's ratios were when Osama bin Laden was killed. They sure weren't 96% against.


Not sure the same set of circumstances existed, so comparisons (and percentages) are filled with assumptions which make any conclusions questionable.....


“…..study?” I am constantly perplexed by the so-called statistics about the so-called percentage of negative reporting as it relates to a corrupt and immoral person. It is as if the reporters are expected to make up pleasant fiction to provide a “balance.” Would that satisfy the loyal fan base? Guess that would depend on whether the manufactured deceptions were beautiful and perfect enough.

I hope all my fellow citizens have invested some time and careful contemplation into the revelations from today’s Congressional hearings. We are being represented at home, and around the world, by a lawless self-serving bully. We have a right, and a responsibility to demand better.


You mean the 'Triple Hearsay Impeachment Hearing'? I was in shock. It was so and so told so and so who told so and so who overheard so and so. And these were the first witnesses!

If there is one thing I learned today its why hearsay isn’t allowed in a court of law in the United States of America. 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand hearsay interjects all sort of innuendo, supposition, and speculation based on little more than the personal opinion of those being questioned.


Hearsay and personal opinion? That’s rich. Evidently we were not all watching the same hearings? But on the positive side, Mr. Jordan would surely be pleased to know his desperate table-pounding rant was not a COMPLETE waste of time.


Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes are amazing and are heroes.

Rob - complete insanity and at least some of these American people are realizing what a s@#tshow this is and when the Horowitz and Durham reports come out there will be criminal referrals. Tens of millions of dollars wasted over the past three years for NOTHING. They are covering their behinds and never thought they would be exposed. And, Schiff has the nerve to continue his disgusting lies that he doesn't know who the non-whistleblower is. He gas no business running this committee. Pathological liar at every turn.


Bill Taylor:
5th in his class at West Point
Decorated as a Commander of a rifle company in Vietnam.
Did tours with both the 82nd & 101st airborne units.
40 plus years in high level public service.

Not sure Nunes & Jordan measure up....


Bill Taylor had first hand knowledge of absolutely nothing. None of his testimony would be allowed in a court of law except under exceptional circumstances. A Dem congressman literally argued today that hearsay evidence is better than first hand evidence. Astounding. Its like we are all in grade school again playing telephone.


OMG Finch. “Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes are amazing and are heroes.”

That is the saddest most disturbing and revealing thing you have ever posted in this forum.


Treefarmer - yes they are and maybe one day you'll actually have to eat your words and realize this has all been a scheme from the very beginning to take down this President. They cannot stand that he's doing what he said he would do and he's definitely not part of the swamp. It's all coming out finally.

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