Climate crisis poses threat


To the Editor:

It was somewhat interesting to read Alan Dershowitz’s remark (“Dershowitz presents new book amid protests,” Sept. 12) that, unlike Israel, the “United States fortunately has no such existential threats.” Perhaps Dershowitz missed the memo, but actually we have at least two such threats to our existence. Both of these threats, however, come mostly from within — first the climate crisis brought on by the overabundance of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, and the second the political polarization within our nation brought on by the increasing incivility and criminal behavior of the extremist far right. Of the first, it should be noted that the climate crisis is a worldwide existential threat, but its dire circumstances are greatly exacerbated by our own contributions to the crisis and, interestingly, by the far right’s false denial of its very reality. Perhaps people like Dershowitz, who move in elitist circles far removed from reality, will one day become aware of the threat, as climate chaos becomes unavoidable. We shall see soon enough.

Don Ogden
Edargtown and Florence, Mass.


  1. We’ve been hearing this climate change nonsense for 30 years. Enough already, it’s a hoax. At first we were doomed from climate cooling, then it was acid rain, then ozone depletion, then nuclear winter. Let’s not forget there was a time when it was “established science” that the earth was flat!

    • BS– I’ve been hearing the same old claptrap from deniers for 10 years– Enough already.
      Natural processes are cooling the planet– Carl Sagan was correct. If the earth and it’s natural process were left alone, we would have glaciers on M.V in about 50,000 years.
      Acid rain was killing the fish in lakes , and conifer forest throughout the world.
      “To prevent all this, the Clean Air Act amendments required that power plants make significant cuts on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions, which they did by installing “scrubbers” in their smokestacks and switching to low-sulfur coal. Cap-and-trade programs—like the ones that we may soon institute for carbon—came online in 1995 for sulfur dioxide and 2003 for nitrogen oxides. Vehicles, which emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides, were also becoming cleaner thanks to the introduction of catalytic convertors in the mid-1970s.”
      “The results of these efforts were dramatic: According to the National Emissions Inventory, sulfur dioxide emissions from all sources fell from nearly 26 million tons in 1980 to 11.4 million tons in 2008. Nitrogen oxides decreased from 27 million tons to 16.3 million tons in the same time frame. “
      Then ozone depletion
      At a meeting in Montreal , the world agreed to stop the production of CFC’S
      The “Montreal protocol” put an end to it
      Nuclear winter.
      Yup, guess what ? again, WE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
      The worlds nuclear powers agreed to significant reductions in their arsenals, and established communication lines to help prevent an accidental nuclear war. Do you really think that if a few thousand nuclear weapons were detonated over the course of a few days , there would not be a “nuclear winter”?
      And sorry- “established science” never concluded that the earth was flat. The word “science” was first coined in 1833– of course, there are still some people around who think the earth is flat–and there are some people who think putting over 37 gigatonnes ( that’s 37,000,000,000 tons , or 81,400,000,000,000 pounds )of carbon into the atmosphere every year will have no effect on the climate.

      • Honestly, I feel a bit of sadness for you and the folks who buy into this nonsense. You all seem to be crying out for attention somehow missing in your lives. It’s a deep rooted rage seeking affirmation that sadly won’t be realized.

    • “Established science” has held that the Earth is round for virtually as long as there’s been “established science.” It was settled knowledge in Aristotle’s time (300s BC), and remained so — among the educated — continually thereafter. The myth that Columbus was scoffed at by “court scholars” who insisted that the Earth was flat is just that: a myth . . . popularized by Washington Irving in an 1828 biography of Columbus that (like Mason Locke “Cherry Tree” Weems’ biography of Washington) never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

      “Global cooling” was a weakly supported hypothesis that — despite a lack of compelling evidence or a firmly established scientific consensus — was sensationalized by the popular media for a brief period in the early 1970s. The flea-bitten corpse of the idea has, ever since, been periodically exhumed and dusted off by those (like comedian Dennis Miller) who unclear on the fact that the testing, falsification, and subsequent rejection of ideas is evidence of not of science’s failure (because one or more scientists was “wrong”) but of its success (because science, as a process, is aggressively self-correcting).

      Acid rain and ozone depletion were significant environmental threats that were curbed precisely *because* the world’s governments took the scientific evidence behind them seriously and — rejecting the claims of critics who insisted that mitigation efforts would be economically catastrophic — instituted regulatory regimes that significantly reduced sulfur dioxide emissions and phased out ozone-depleting chemicals like CFCs. Had the captain of the Titanic reduced the speed of his vessel to a prudent level, spotted the iceberg in time, and steered safely past it . . . some passengers might have scoffed at him for wasting time and worry on what was, to them, a nonexistent threat. They would, of course, have been wrong.

      As for the “nuclear winter” model . . . given that any serious assessment of its accuracy will require a global thermonuclear war, I’m just as happy to remain ignorant of its validity (or lack thereof).

  2. If only the unwashed would stop basing their belief system on common sense and logic. The rubes should just shaddup, accept the scolding, and let the globalist elite take charge of everything under the sun. It’s the end game between the Haves and Have-nots… yer either in a private jet flying around the world to climate conferences, movie premieres, and political fundraisers on the Vineyard – or yer just working to keep family secure, pay taxes, and put food on the table. Either the lawmakers who spend our money are committed to the former, or the latter. Clearly, all the handwringing over weather is coming from the Haves – and their lust for power and control over the people. It’s not some contrived notion of “criminal behavior” by those who don’t submit to climate hysteria.

  3. It is not as if we think there is no warming. There is some warming but it has happened before and will happen again. It is not a catastrophe. What so called ”deniers” object to is the so called solution which is so extreme that it loses its credibility. Trillions of dollars and giving up our way of life when our sacrifices will mean nothing so long as India and China keep polluting. Calling skeptics names is not helpful. Assaulting alternative opinions does nothing except harden the position. Calling for extreme deprivation measures is silly. Having confidence that technology and creative innovation and engineering can mitigate is necessary.

    • andrew —I don’t know why you keep up the false narrative about China and India polluting more than us. . China contributes 27 %, India 7% — their average is 2 % higher than the U.S. at 15 % , but , they have a combined population that is more than 8 times ours.
      Also, I find it interesting that you deny and ridicule the science, but seem to have faith that science will get us out of any mess we may create.

  4. Dondondon, I don’t do pollution on a per capita average. I do it on total emissions. My narrative is not false—- they do pollute more than us. Science, innovation and technology will continue and it is never science when people say something is “”settled””.

    • The population of the US is right around three and a half million while the population of China is right around one and a half billion. So while technically you may be correct,it’s like saying I use more fabric in my pants because I have a 40 in waist and you only have a 30 inch waist…

    • andrew– you argument about which country pollutes the most is tautologically absurd.
      But given that China does produce more carbon emissions, ok you can hold that argument, but will you please stop with the India thing , as we emit double what they do.
      If you are going to point fingers at what countries produce the most emissions Point at the U.S

  5. The 6 degrees of separation between Dershowtiz, right wingers, and climate change is pretty impressive. Completely ludicrous mind you, but still amazing that someone can actually believe all that and want to actually publish it.

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