Letters to the editor for Thursday, March 19, 2015

Editor’s note: The following letter was cutoff in Wednesday’s Appeal. It’s being rerun in its entirety.

Time to start paying attention to science

In support of his argument that the global warming “ruse” is actually a plot to “destroy the economies of and to reduce the standard of living enjoyed in the industrialized nations,” E.C. Cowan alleges that “the globe hasn’t warmed in 18 years.” Is this true? Let’s have a look.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, explains that “1998 was the warmest year in the last century. There was a big El Niño event in 1997 and 1998, and we have a lot of evidence that there was a lot of heat coming out of the ocean at that time. So that’s the real anomaly — the fact that we had what was perhaps the biggest El Niño event on record.”

Dr. John Abraham, professor of thermal and fluid sciences at the University of St. Thomas, explains the warming paradox this way: “93 percent of the heat goes into the ocean, and the ocean continues to heat, so people are confusing temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere — the weather — with long-term climate change.”

Last June the AP reviewed government weather data and ranked U.S. cities by how much they’d warmed over the past 30 years. Carson City was on top of that list, with average summertime temperatures soaring 6.8 degrees. So, given that we’ve become the climate change capital of America, isn’t it time we dispensed with all the Internet hoaxes about how global warming’s not happening and start paying attention to the actual science?

Rich Dunn

Carson City

More on public land ownership

Regarding Jim Falk’s letter about the move to transfer Nevada’s public land to state ownership, he would do well to review his history of Nevada and stop passing off poor coincidence as fact.

Nevada’s land ownership pattern is a result of the Homestead Act — settlers grabbed water and land that had any chance of being farmed. The federal government tried to pass the remaining desert lands into private ownership with little success. FLPMA, passed in 1976, ensured that these lands remained in public ownership for all to enjoy.

Sage grouse need meadows to raise their young, so, yes, they are drawn to private lands because that’s where the meadows are. Mr. Falk states that “desert tortoise love cattle” because they use “manure for nutrition and hydration.” The cattle have simply removed the tortoise’s native vegetation, which it relied on for nutrition and water in Southern Nevada’s sparse desert. These creatures survived well before cattle arrived, but suffer now due to loss of habitat.

Ranchers did not “manage the land quite well before the federal agent.” Fact: the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the Taylor Grazing Service at the request of the ranchers because the land was being severely overgrazed and they wanted regulations. (The Grazing Service eventually morphed into the BLM).

The state of Nevada was given two sections per township as part of statehood for funding for schools. Find Guy Rocha’s article elsewhere explaining what Nevada did with its sections — it’s enlightening if you think the state can do a better job of management.

Andrea J. Minor

Carson City


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