Climate Change and Mr. Gifford…

Dear Editor,

Bonner County should feel privileged to know we have such an outstanding scholar in our midst to enlighten us. Cort Gifford has such a way with words — surely he has some published, peer-reviewed research he could share with us. Perhaps your doctoral dissertation from some accredited university. No? Maybe you adhere to Glen Bailey’s view of universities as bastions of liberal ideology and not to be trusted.

Let me guess: You educate yourself on the web. Let me suggest to you that spending one or two hours a week or night on the internet juke box does not qualify you to debate, much less disavow, men and women that have devoted decades of their lives to study, research and applications of scientific principles for the betterment of society, i.e. scientists.

I can assure it is not for the money. It baffles me that one can have no faith in science yet drive down a highway at 70 mph with no thought as to how the technology of ABS brakes will stop them in time, or fly though the air with the greatest of ease at 700 mph with no worries that scientific principles will land them safely! And then there’s the internet, irony of ironies, bringing us from the age of information to the age of disinformation and a “post-truth” world.

As you may tell I have forsaken the gambit of kind, polite discussion as in ‘To Clear the Air.’ But Mr. Gifford, what stakes do have in this debate? Stocks, bonds, personal ego? At our age, Cort, it can be said we don’t have much skin in the game. My stakes, my skin in the game, are my grand and great-grandchildren, specifically because we may be two or three generations away from a dying planet, making them an endangered species.

Scare tactics? You’re damn right we should all be scared. Scared enough to educate ourselves and do what we can. Blissful ignorance comes with a terrible cost and burden for future generations. And there is much we can do on many fronts. But first, educate yourself, and an excellent start available at our library now is “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change” by R. Hansen (a NASA scientist).

Be that thinking person. And as long as I’m alienating some people, here’s a clue for you preppers and Redoubters: You can’t store enough food or buy enough bullets to defend yourselves against a dying planet. Wouldn’t the Christian thing to do be to light a candle rather than curse the coming darkness? To quote a recent Nobel Prize winner, “Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

Ray Libby

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