Letters to the editor on climate change, same-sex marriage, Legislature, Shockers

03/07/2014 5:53 PM

03/07/2014 5:53 PM

Opponents need to show their science

In his attempt to throw ice on the science of climate change, columnist Charles Krauthammer touched on an important principle that is relevant to this debate (Feb. 22 Opinion). Krauthammer stated that “I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

He was indirectly referring to what in ecology is called the precautionary principle. That principle states, “If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.”

The scientific community has presented its findings on climate change and numerous models of the potential effects of global warming. An overwhelming majority of climate scientists concur with those findings. Their debate has evolved to the question of what can be done to mitigate those effects.

It is the policy of certain groups to do everything they can to oppose the science of climate change. We deserve to see their evidence that if the predicted rise in average global temperatures in the range of 4 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit this century does occur, it would do no harm.

With so much at stake we need to see credible scientific evidence from the opponents, not some dog-and-pony show hearings in Topeka.

WILLIAM C. SKAER

Wichita

Faulty science

Good commentary by Charles Krauthammer on global warming, but I wish he would have addressed the faulty science (Feb. 22 Opinion).

Research is done by either the correlational or scientific method. The correlational, usually done for behavioral research, merely shows that two things seem to occur together, perhaps like carbon emissions and temperature change. True scientists are quick to point out that correlation does not imply causation.

In the more rigorous scientific method, a hypothesis is proposed, independent and dependent variables are selected, and an experimental design evolves. A hypothesis might be that “increased carbon emissions lead to higher Earth temperatures,” with emissions as the independent variable and temperature as the dependent variable. An experiment might be to baseline the Earth’s current level of emissions and establish the current temperature, and then increase the emissions level for some period of time and measure the temperature.

Impossible, you say? Of course it is, and that is why global warming can never be “scientific fact,” as some claim. All global-warming research is purely correlational, and so far has been less than definitive.

The best you can say is, “If you like your global-warming theory, you can keep your global-warming theory.”

STEVE OCHSNER

Goddard

Fix own problems

I’m just trying to get something straight in my mind regarding the article “Panel to weigh current religious freedom laws” (March 5 Eagle). Is the Kansas Catholic Conference, the organization that appears to be driving a good part of the legislative angst regarding protection of the public against same-sex weddings, a part of the same Catholic Church that has for decades (and probably centuries) looked the other way as its priests have sexually abused young children? I would fix that problem before worrying about a few same-sex weddings between consenting adults.

As for the Legislature, with Kansas ranked 41st out of 50 states in job growth in 2013, with unresolved school-finance issues, and with worries about declining revenues to fund the state budget, I would begin to focus on these real issues or, as has been suggested, pack up and go home early.

Oh, and we Baptists don’t need no stinkin’ state statutes to help us judge other people.

THOMAS J. KIMBRELL

Wichita

Send them home

Kansas legislators currently serve for 90 days. House Minority Leader Paul Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, recently suggested they serve 70 days. This may be a good idea. It could save more than $1 million.

So far there have been bills on divorce changes, allowing child beating, allowing gangbangers to legally carry guns in automobiles, encouraging prejudicial behavior and allowing drunks to carry firearms. These people are wasting their time and my money. Send them home before they do some real damage.

DON LOGSDON

Douglass

The mighty Shockers

Wichita has no mountains and no crystal lakes. But pride in athletics is huge in the United States, and we are at the top. A mid-major school ranked No. 2 is unheard of, but there’s Wichita State.

The Shockers have great leadership, players and fans. The team has great offense, defense and transition. And there is no off-court hubbub, only good character. I hope we quiet the critics and make another Final Four.

GREG HESSE

Wichita

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