The Charlottesville Daily Progress frequently refuses to print valid rebuttals to published “letters to the editor.” The Schilling Show will make space available for such refutations and factual corrections of error, whenever possible:
Unpublished rebuttal letter, submitted to the Daily Progress by Dr. Charles Battig on November 16, 2019:
In his November 15, 2019 letter, a local Sierra Club member congratulates our local governing bodies for approving Local Climate Action Plans. Such plans aim for a 45% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030.
Without explanation, the author deems these goals “necessary.” Based on what and why? What is the purpose of such reductions? Undefined “carbon pollution” is said to require us to make lifestyle changes. The term itself has no scientific meaning.
Albemarle County linked these goals to the U.N, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims that these reductions were necessary to limit global warming. However, those claims are based on their own climate computer predictions which have been shown to be wildly over the mark by a factor of three, compared to the historical record.
From 1850 to the present, average warming of the surface of the earth is less than 0.07 degrees C per decade, and does not correlate with the rate of increase of fossil fuel emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. Why try to regulate CO2 when it does not correlate with the claimed warming?
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine formed his Commission on Climate Change in 2007 with the goal of reducing greenhouse gases 30% by 2025. Why does the county need to redo that study; what did it accomplish?
Reaching overseas for guidance, the letter writer lists a number of life style changes. Individuals will make their own choices; they just should not expect to have any effect on the local temperature or climate. One study has already shown that if the entire state of Virginia ceases all CO2 production, the “saving in future warming by 2050” would be 0.0016 C.
Be sure to regularly wash your reusable shopping bags as they can harbor bacterial diseases. When you buy that electric car, remember that the electricity comes from somewhere, probably a coal-fired power plant, and put out of mind the shortened life spans of the child labor involved in mining the rare earth minerals used in the motors and batteries.
Charles G. Battig, M.D.
Original letter written by John Cruickshank, published by the Daily Progress on November 15, 2019:
I want to congratulate and thank the governments of Charlottesville and Albemarle County for approving Local Climate Action Plans that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions for our community in the coming decades.
A 45% reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 are ambitious, but necessary, goals. However, our local governments do not have the power to accomplish this plan without the cooperation and participation of residents.
Reducing carbon pollution requires all of us to make changes in how we live, eat, and travel. I am not suggesting that we return to the Stone Age, but it will require us to adopt a lifestyle that relies less on fossil fuels. There are so many ways we can contribute.
- Consider investing in solar panels for our homes.
- Drive less; walk, bike and use public transit.
- Use more fuel-efficient or electric vehicles.
- Plant trees.
- Use lawn alternatives that require less mowing.
- Hang the laundry on a clothesline.
- Eat a more plant-based diet.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Take reusable shopping bags with you to the store.
- Fly less.
The BBC website lists “Ten Simple Actions to Act on Climate Change,” which is very helpful.
To succeed we will all need to make some changes. The result may well be a healthier planet and healthier, happier people.
John Cruickshank is community outreach coordinator of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club.