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Opinion

August 2, 2013

Science more credible than commerce

During a vacation in Oneonta, my hometown of many years, I read with interest letters by Kathryn Kurtz and Anna Marie Lusins. I agree with their conclusions about profits from fracking, but neither letter addresses its high cost — our survival on this planet. Deniers of climate change dismiss scientific evidence as if researchers were part of a conspiracy to bankrupt the U.S. rather than save lives and prevent costly droughts and hurricanes.

Denial began in June 1988, when Dr. James Hansen, of NASA, the U.S. space agency, testified before Congress that global warming was real. Hansen and his colleagues used scientific data to prove that carbon in the atmosphere was rising at dangerous rates even in 1988.

Today the U.S. leads the industrialized world in per capita carbon emissions. Countries like England and Germany are developing wind and solar power, which are proving profitable, creating jobs and helping to reduce deadly carbon emissions. In the U.S., some states are seeing their economies boom from developing alternative energy sources. The website 350.org provides facts about the opportunities such sources offer.

Environmentalists, scientists, social activists want to strengthen our economy by alerting us to the high costs of fracking, coal mining and transporting tar sands oil. The facts show that the effects of climate change are costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

I find environmental scientists more credible and trustworthy than people who profit from selling us oil, gas and coal while denying their proven dangers to our health and survival.

Maggie Schramm

Arlington, Mass.

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