Regarding the April 16 article "Manchin Is Urging Miners To Speak Out." Many climate change nay-sayers lack expertize in climatology and related fields, have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, and insist it's a hoax. The scientific community (thousands) have agreed it's real and have no related vested interests. Many think it has already reached or surpassed the tipping point, and will continue to worsen regardless of mankind's actions. Significant improvements cannot be made in a timely manner. This is seen by considering the tremendous momentum pushing us to continue our present course. The situation is far beyond concerns of fossil fuel company profits, related jobs, and what energy America does, or does not, depend on.
Manchin alludes to this momentum in the article by stating China burns four billion tons of coal annually, whereas the U.S. only burns one billion. The implication being the U.S. should substantially increase it's use of coal, given such a disparity with China. Also, he feels U.S. should drop all coal pollution control regulations as they are detrimental to mining company profits and jobs. Apparently some people just don't get the point and are still mired down in fossil fuels, profits, and related jobs.
Earth, its resources, and atmosphere, are finite. They can only take so much pollution before things get out of balance for current life forms. The global ecosystem has the feature if pollution reaches a certain level, the whole mechanism will go into overdrive, create untold havoc, and humans will probably suffer. Earth has done fine for millions and billions of years. So-called problems it created for itself, it eventually solved for itself. It will continue to go along whatever the situation and regardless of any problems humans create. It is not necessarily equipped to solve those problems, especially to suit human desires. Earth was here long before us and will continue long after us.
Civilization cannot consume, consume, consume, forever, even though that's been the mode for thousands of years. Today the dominant mentality is all economies must continue to grow in size or else civilizations will cease to exist. That mentality cannot continue. We are consuming non-renewable resources as if they were unlimited, while reeking havoc with the ecosystem. They took several hundred million years to create and we'll consume them in a few short centuries. We have caused more extinctions, and possible extinctions, of fauna the last 200 years, than our ancestors (whatever form they took) caused the last 2 million years. We are tipping the scales.
If we keep going full steam ahead, a hundred years from now humans will think back on our time and wonder: "What in the world was wrong with their brains? Did no one have any common sense?"
James R. Wisialowski