Letters to the Editor - Feb. 24

February 24, 2011

Does this mean my paper will cost less?

To the editor:

Mr. League, while I applaud your efforts to “advocate publicly” for the employees who will be losing their livelihoods (Feb. 20 Herald-Mail), I must take exception to some of your column. You state that “over the next five years, we were looking to spend nearly $4 million to $5 million just to keep the press running.” You also stated, “Outsourcing won’t affect the newspaper’s bottom line because it will cost about as much to print the paper in Frederick as it does in Hagerstown.”

So in effect, the newspaper will be saving $4 million to $5 million and the cost of the affected employees who will be let go. Will that mean that my paper will cost less? Or is this just another way for a company to increase its profit at the expense of its employees? Why not take the money saved and ensure your affected employees get re-trained in other departments within the structure of your company, so that not one of them loses their livelihood in these hard economic times?

On a different note, I would like to see David Limbaugh’s column deleted from your paper. He is a subversive, and the brother of very controversial and inflammatory Rush Limbaugh. His kind of rhetoric has no place in real newspapers. He belongs in the tabloids and subversive “rags” only.

I give my permission to print this letter and hope you do.

John R. Harmon
Waynesboro, Pa.

Climate research cannot be dismissed

To the editor:

It always shocks me how some people can dismiss, off-hand, the hard work that scientists put into climate research, without actually understanding its merits. Where is this presumptuous arrogance coming from? Fox News climate disinformation campaign maybe? Well, don’t believe everything you see on TV.

Let me dispel a common myth, namely that variation in solar output causes climate change. Solar energy production — and thus solar output — has not changed in hundreds of thousands of years. What does change over time is solar activity, which manifests itself in the number of sunspots we can observe. Solar activity does indeed affect climate, but even solar activity has been constant for the last 300 years. It cannot explain the current steep global warming trend.

Another common myth is that we are at the rising edge of a climate cycle and that temperatures will decline again at the end of that cycle. Not quite, though there are indeed climate cycles, called Milankovic cycles. They are due to changes in the orientation of Earth’s axis and the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit. The Milankovic cycles have periods of tens of thousands of years and cause the ice ages.
Right now, we are in such a warm period. And the current warm period started about 12,000 years ago. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that we therefore must be at the eve of another ice age. Except that we see steeply rising, not falling temperatures. Climate cycles most definitely do not explain global warming.

Finally, there seems to be a genuine lack of appreciation for the effects of carbon monoxide. Remember, carbon monoxide acts like a blanket, it makes Earth more efficient in retaining heat from solar radiation. And because the sun sends us such a staggering amount of radiation — about 100 million GW — even retaining a small additional fraction of that power can cause significant global warming.

Hans K. Buhrer

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