Soap Box: Aug. 3-9 | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Soap Box: Aug. 3-9

Letters and comments on the SLCPD and climate change.



Cover story, Aug. 3, "New Shade of Blue"
Nice coverage. Norm Stamper, author of To Protect and Serve, opines that one way to improve American policing is to hire more female police officers. He writes that female officers are better at nonviolent crisis prevention because their verbal abilities to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations outweigh those of their male counterparts. All the best to Officer Novoa. May she have a safe and distinguished career.
       Dennis Vogel,

Opinion, Aug. 3, "On Letters"
Nice City Weekly piece on the lost art of letter writing. Sharing via Twitter; no offense intended.
       Via Twitter

Lady and the stamp
Love your paper and look forward to its release every Thursday, so thank you for that.
      I especially loved the Guest Opinion page titled "On Letters" in the Aug. 3 edition, and can totally relate to what the author is saying about the power of writing letters and of words. There is nothing like holding a hand-written letter delivered by the post office. I, too, am a passionate letter-writer and, when inspired by stories or actions, have written to complete strangers expressing gratitude or admiration. And I have been surprised (and thrilled) to receive occasional responses, just as Lance S. Gudmundsen has from Queen Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting and others.
      Thank you for your interesting spin on current events and numerous other items of value and importance. Can't wait to run to Smith's today to pick up the [current] issue.
      Susan Bockmeyer,

Opinion, July 27, "What Climate Change?"
If more water is "planted" up the hill, like the beavers do, then there will be less of it filling up the oceans. The Gobi is a drain-hole that fills the aquifer that the Yellow River (if I remember correctly) is sourced from. "Plant the water" is a concept from a dude who toured and gave a talk here a few years ago pertaining to turning deserts green. Humans can bootstrap the ecosystems that beavers then maintain. Trees bring the rain, rain brings the trees. Treewakers are needed to make that happen, and that's what "homo sapiens" are for—that's our niche in the ecosystem. We are both an umbrella and keystone species.
      There are also some dudes from Holland who are working on "saltwater greenhouses" where they use something like a swamp cooler with pumped saltwater that cools the air around saplings growing, plus puts water vapor into the air that can recondense, hopefully, into a Groaisis Waterboxx that nurses the new trees downwind.
      Obviously, there are a lot of areas on this continent that need the love and assistance of treewakers, as well.
      Karl Hegbloom,
      Salt Lake City

Opinion, July 27, "What Climate Change?"
Stan Rosenzweig writes in CW, "Just 11 years ago, I moved here chasing 'the greatest snow on Earth.' Since then, every major Utah ski area has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in snowmaking equipment."
      Snowmaking began in Utah at least 35 years ago when Snowbird opened up, just before a couple of years of record snow. You can count on October ski snow like you can count on windmills for electricity.
      And Rosenzweig has apparently never seen a sea-level graph; if he had, he would know what rubbish is the hype he parrots. The truth is, there is not a competent scientist on the planet who takes this sea-level scare seriously—or the climate scare anymore, for that matter. So what defines a "competent scientist"? One who demands data—who insists on quantification. A competent scientist instinctively asks, how fast is the sea level rising? And those who can actually give you the numbers know what ridiculous propaganda is being dished out by the climate alarmists.
      The reason you don't know how fast the sea level is rising is because you have been brainwashed—not educated, and the last thing a climate propagandist wants is for you to get educated on the subject. A rear admiral sees ports and bases in danger of flooding? Due to climate change?
      Sheer nonsense. How fast is the sea rising? Villages disappearing? Forty years ago, the CIA was warning Nixon and Ford that the U.S. and the world were in danger of widespread drought and famine due to global cooling.
      The sea level has been rising for [decades] fairly steadily, with no evidence of humans causing it. ...
      Here's the sort of thing you hear from competent scientists: "I don't see a whole lot of difference between the consensus on climate change and the consensus on witches. At the witch trials in Salem, the judges were educated at Harvard. This was supposedly 100 percent science. The one or two people who said there were no witches were immediately hung. Not much has changed," says Princeton Professor Emeritus of Physics William Happer. He translates Pushkin's sonnet to describe the government apparatchiks and other useful idiots who chant the climate catechism:
      "And muses will to me their tribute bring,
      Free genius will enslave itself to me,
      And virtue, yes, and, sleepless labor, too,
      With humble mien will wait for my reward.
      I've but to whistle, and obedient, timid,
      Blood-spattered villainy will crawl to me,
      And lick my hand, and gaze into my eyes,
      To read in them the sign of my desire."
       Happer himself was a casualty of Al Gore's purge of capable scientists at the EPA when Clinton took office.
       What was scaremonger John Holdren (Obama's science advisor) saying in 1971? "The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here." What do the scaremongers say now? There never was a cold scare. What were the "Merchants of Doubt" (libelous fiction of Naomi Oreskes and NASA historian Erik Conway) saying during the cold scare? Here's one of them, Fred Singer, in 1975 while advocating increased funding for climate monitoring in view of rising CO2 emissions: "One might be tempted to make light of those who decry a warming of the climate, while others worry about bringing back the ice ages." So while perennial scaremonger Holdren warned of global cooling, Singer (and Frederick Seitz and William Nierenberg—Oreskes' and Conway's other libeled villains) were concerned about warming.
      What happened to change the villains' minds? Nothing. The globe didn't warm to any extent that could be called out of the ordinary. The rest is propaganda.
      A.G. Foster

Opinion, July 27, "What Climate Change?"
I don't know A.G. Foster or his background, but he sounds much more like an ideologue than a scientist. His rhetoric drowns out the validity of his reasoning, some of which I agree with. His words are designed to convince the uneducated with bombast rather than science.
      My credentials are as follows: I am a social scientist, not a physical scientist. So like both Stan and Mr. Foster, I am not qualified to speak on the validity of climate change. But I do have a Ph.D. in philosophy with a concentration of statistics and economics.
      As an "expert" in statistics, I feel confident that the issue of climate change is subject to legitimate debate, as are the issues of monetary policy (on which I am an expert). There are thoughtful experts on both sides of the issue. The main reason that the issue is unsettled is that, as Mr. Foster indicates, there are huge, significant, non-human-related phenomena that have, for billions of years, affected climate, resulting in both secular and cyclical changes. Thus it is very difficult to "tease out" the human impact. But that is not the same as concluding that it does not exist.
      Having acknowledged the legitimacy of the debate, there is an agreed-upon body of knowledge about many human impacts on weather. We simply cannot separate the aforementioned non-human effects from the human effect with a degree of certainty that brings an end to the debate. However, that should not stop us from dealing with the human impacts in a positive way. Moreover, as Stan suggests, corporations have a profit incentive to deal with such effects. Whether or not the observed change is human- or non-human-related, their incentive should be aligned in a way to improve our situation. This can only be accomplished if there is a partnership with government that represents the interest of the people. (By the way, Stan, I don't think, as you suggest, that those who argue in favor of the conclusion that human-caused climate change is significant are all "left-leaning." There are many thoughtful conservatives that argue that humans have made a significant impact on climate.)
      Unfortunately, there is perhaps a bigger issue than climate change these days. The divisiveness exacerbated by emotionally driven rhetoric, like that of Mr. Foster or those on the far-right and- left, has led us into a gridlock that prevents us from dealing effectively with important physical and social problems, regardless of their cause.
      Shame on you, Mr. Foster. Let's work this out intelligently rather than denigrating those with whom you disagree.
      David Horner

Five Spot, Aug. 3, Flossie Kehr
Never talking about religion and politics in Utah—where the two are one and the same—is a real challenge.
      Jade JD LeBlanc
      Via Facebook

Ahh, how privileged.
      Via Twitter

The Straight Dope, Aug. 3, "Cosmic Will"
It's true. The universe as a collective whole contains every bit of intelligence ever created. If you want proof, just enter a perfect wormhole.
      Michael Valentine
      Via Facebook

[This] article made my jaw drop.
      Janet Vigil
      Via Facebook

Music, Aug. 3, "Old-Fashioned and Proud"
Just saw [Hectic Hobo] at Canyon Jam up in Logan. Great band! Check them out.
      Corinna Sommerfeldt Knowles
      Via Facebook