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Continued: Readers Write: (Oct. 23): Downtown Minneapolis, climate change

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  • Last update: October 22, 2013 - 7:18 PM

The residents of Alberta love their lands and waters, and they are capable of preserving those assets without our help.

ROLF E. WESTGARD, St. Paul

• • •

Contrary to the profoundly hypocritical fear-mongering of environmental leftists, “climate change” is emphatically not a “problem.” (“The world can’t risk a rotten climate,” Oct. 21.) In fact, the Keeling Curve shows only 1.46 parts per million increase in atmospheric CO2 annually; total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere equal more than 26,000 ppm. Humans account for about 4 percent of the annual increase. It takes 22 years for humans to increase CO2 by 1 part per million.

To pretend that an additional 1 part per million, every 22 years, on a base of 26,000 parts per million is driving our climate is the height of anti-intellectualism and anti-science. Those who contend otherwise fly and drive many millions of miles annually while telling everyone else to knock it off.

JOHN JAEGER, Irvine, Calif.

• • •

Brian Nowak (in “The world can’t risk a rotten climate”) argues articulately that even science deniers should be persuaded by the economic consequences of climate change. Nowak and MN350 provide a profound public service by educating the public about the reality of carbon pollution and practical remedies available now. Their greatest barrier to education is the wide dissemination of crackpot denial of every ilk. It would be refreshing if the Star Tribune would join the Los Angeles Times in its recently announced common-sense policy of refusing to publish letters to the editor that promote factually incorrect climate change denial conspiracy theories.

PAULA SMOOT OGG, Edina

EDITOR’S NOTE

In compiling letters packages, we have three main goals: to provide insight; to reflect, on the whole, the nature of the sentiments we receive, and to produce a collection that’s engaging for readers. These goals can be conflicting.

With respect to accuracy (on climate change or any topic), the fact is that many opinions are based on incomplete or inaccurate information or are underpinned by logical fallacies — yet they represent beliefs held, to varying degrees, by the public. If misconceptions exist, is it helpful to hide them, or better to debate them? A tenet of free speech is that the best ideas, through competition, will prevail.

We consider Readers Write to be a community forum, not merely the province of authorities. We grant participants some leeway while taking care to avoid deliberate misrepresentations. We are mindful of our own biases, and we recognize that the format makes it difficult for any one writer to treat a subject comprehensively. Still, we appreciate genuine insight and hope that, over time, we help readers come to informed conclusions about complex matters.

DAVID BANKS, assistant commentary editor

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  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

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