Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Jan. 21 letters to the editor

Lan completely wrong on climate change

The article about Dr. Lan urging people to keep an open mind on climate change (DP-01-13-24) might have been posted on the opinion page, but as a news article, it was terribly one-sided and reported known fallacies as factual.

Scientists have known for over 40 years that greenhouse gases are warming the climate and that fossil fuels are the dominant source of those gases. While there are still minor uncertainties over just how fast the planet is warming, the assertion that “we should not waste money for green energy” because of those uncertainties is unsupported by science and economics.

For example, Lan suggests that the urban heat island effect may have biased climate models. But that urban heat island has been known for almost two centuries and climate models account for that. To suggest otherwise is obsolete, outdated and simply wrong.

Likewise, the role of the sun and changes in solar activity have been incorporated in climate models and account for negligible changes in Earth’s temperature.

Lan also quotes a “report” in Ceres-Science from Dr. Willie Soon but fails to mention that this is funded by fossil fuel interests and that Soon has been widely discredited due to conflicts of interest and ethics violations.

Finally, economists know that the cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of green energy. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Economic modeling shows unchecked climate change could ravage every region of the global economy; but decarbonizing by midcentury would net $43 trillion over 50 years.”

While reporters should report both sides of a real controversy, they should not exacerbate bias by inferring credibility to ideas so far outside the mainstream, at least not without some simple fact-checking. Sensational claims have no place in real news.

Michael Attfield

Mennonites demonstrate against Israel-Hamas war 

This past Tuesday, I was part of a group of 130 Mennonites who were arrested in the atrium of a U.S. House office building in Washington, D.C., as we sang for peace and a ceasefire with regard to the conflict in Gaza — an action my Morgantown church participated in.

Our position honors a truth against a false choice our elected officials have presented since Oct. 7. Are you on the side of the Hamas terrorists who took the lives of 1,200 Israelis or on the side of the powerful Israeli military that has taken the lives of over 24,000 Gazans (nearly 11,000 of whom are children) since Oct. 7 and the tens of thousands who died before the conflict started?

The answer needn’t be one or the other — it can be neither. The Hamas attack was horrific, and the Israeli response has also been horrific, or if you think all human beings’ lives have equal worth — which I hope you do — 20 times as horrific.

The fact that that differential has been roughly the pattern across the last three Democratic and three Republican administrations should be a sign that something we’re doing hasn’t worked and is making things worse.

As Americans and — in the case of us Mennonites — Christians, we can’t choose whose life has more or less value; we must educate ourselves because our decisions and indecision are costing innocent lives daily. And our West Virginia congressional delegation cannot and should not be touting $14.3 billion to fund Israel’s response.

We must hold those officials accountable: ceasefire now; ceasefire always.

Ace Parsi

Raising interstate speed limit a terrible idea

What are our state representatives thinking? I saw in Jan. 12’s The Dominion Post that they have passed or want to pass a bill to raise the speed limit on interstates to 80 miles an hour. With the way people drive nowadays — with no regard to speed limits anyway and running red lights — do they really think this is a good idea?

I think they better rethink that idea, because some drivers have or make too many distractions to be going 80 miles an hour. I can see more wrecks in the future of our interstate highways.

All I can say to all who travel these highways: Watch out for yourselves.

Ralph Correll

What did the city expect after Sunnyside closed?

Several years back city fathers didn’t like the bars and carrying-ons (anyone got a spare couch?) in Sunnyside. They and WVU set out to end that and did, changing that area’s visual culture. Before that, it could have been called eclectic shabby. But it was occupied.

Now those buildings are mostly gone, replaced in part by Soviet institutional gray structures — reportedly with many vacancies.

Where those city fathers thought all the revelers, tipplers and couch-burners would go, I haven’t a clue. But being a sometimes logical lot, said heck-raisers took their rabble rousing and tippling mostly downtown.

In a sense downtown is becoming Sunnyside South — just shinier than the former version. And with no free parking.

Now said city fathers want to replace a 300-bed area in the Richwood area, occupied mainly by students, with new housing. Said housing would have lodging above shops — as well as brew pubs. Their hope is “young professionals” will occupy the area.

There seem to be no plans for couch-burning areas. So far. But who knows what the future holds?

Lew McDaniel