Editor:

In news, partisan politics dominate the top stories. This is a reminder how many important issues face our country that cannot be solved by party politics.

For example, climate change can’t be solved by one party. It is going to take every person and every politician to solve this critical issue. The majority of Americans support Congress to take action on climate change. Rather than be divided on this issue, our representatives must come together.

Fortunately some Democrats and some Republicans have risen above party politics and have co-sponsored the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763. This bill will bring climate change under control while stimulating technology innovation.

It is time we all rise above partisan issues and focus on people issues like clean air and water. If we don’t, the alternative will be no winners at all. The party is over.

Maggie Kraft, Tempe

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(10) comments

Jeanne Weir

I appreciate Ms. Kraft's letter because she stresses the importance of working together,- across party lines. Rarely do I hear politicians from either party debate whether human caused climate change is happening these days. They understand that natural cycles are a part of our earth's history, yet the intensified uptick of global temperatures in the last 15 years has never happened before. The higher average temperatures are due to the increase of green house gases that are emitted from burning fossil fuels.

We depend on scientists to give us research based information to keep us healthy, likewise, we also depend on scientific research for keeping our planet healthy. Climate science is not a belief system (that is faith), rather it is a system of facts born out of years of careful research on weather conditions averaged over a period of time.

I appreciate the fossil fuel industry -which is subsidized by the US government- for bringing us economic success and leading us to be the greatest nation on earth. But now it is time to use alternative energies, they are less expensive and more efficient, and they keep our air clean and earth livable for future generations, no question.

Phil Mason

It is interesting that those who suggest alternative energies refuse to look at the nuclear energy option that includes all the advances in that industry including the near elimination of spent fuel and the elimination of the Chernobyl type problems in the newest technologies.

The amount of carbon emissions in the production of the wind turbines and the decimation of the eagle population where there are wind farms are neglected by the environment community. While humans have a miniscule impact on climate change, sun spot activity, volcanic activity and other natural phenomena are the major factors.

Again, the major influence in the data re: uptick in global temperatures is urban growth that surrounds the historical rural measuring stations. I know that fact is inconvenient, but it is fact.

35 years ago, I lived about 15 miles SW of downtown Phoenix and every night in the summer the ambient temperature dropped from 10 to 15 degrees about two thirds of the way home. Airports have been the usual measuring stations and they were originally built "in the country": where there was an abundance of empty land. Most of those areas are now completely surrounded by commercial, industrial and, to a lesser degree, residential development.

The localized heat dome impact is accurate, the global warming crisis is not.

Never forget that government bureaucracies have a voracious appetite for more and more funding and NASA and NOAA are not exempt from that fact. A larger and larger part of their funding is creating the storyline of the "global warming" problem then receiving additional funding to deal with the problem they created. It is endemic.

Gretchen Reinhardt

My research on the legislation that was highlighted in this Letter to the Editor (HR763 - https://energyinnovationact.org/how-it-works/) suggests that it is completely technology-neutral (it would not hurt the nuclear industry, but would rather give it credit for being a source of clean energy). The urban heat island problem you note is a very real problem - especially for the Valley (much much less so for Payson). From what I have read, climate change amplifies the problem of an urban heat island. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that only one of these two problems is real or fact-based.

Gretchen Reinhardt

Gretchen’ Online response:

Maggie Kraft: Thank you for your timely reminder that we can still all work together for the common good. There are all kinds of real challenges, and our community and world will come out best if we can learn from each other and work together to solve the challenges.

Phil Mason: I read your comments, and appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts about climate change as a “natural rhythm”. We agree that history is important to understand. I hope we both agree that facts do exist and can be discovered. Despite your apparent argument that “the scientists got it wrong”, I think a more careful reading of the history of science and climate change tells a different story. The current administration’s NASA (https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/) and NOAA (https://www.noaa.gov/climate) websites can provide important facts about the earth’s climate and how it has changed over the centuries. For your concerns and questions about monitoring stations and urban areas, there is valuable information on that from NOAA: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/. I have not found where you have gotten your information about the US having already reduced its carbon footprint by nearly 20%. I find the Global Carbon Atlas to be a reliable resource for such information: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/en/CO2-emissions.

Phil Mason

My source comes from many articles. The relative facts are that since 2005, a report from the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies that says that “per capita energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were down 18.1 percent on average nationally.”

In addition, the U.S. had the highest overall decline in carbon dioxide emissions of any country on the globe.

The world problems in this area come from China, India, Japan, Kores, etc. who are increasing their emissions exponentially while being exempted from any requirements to reduce their emissions by the UN.

Gretchen Reinhardt

Thank you for clarifying where your information came from. I have gone to their website, and believe it to be a good source for scientifically-validated information on climate change, http://www.4cleanair.org/topics/details/climate-change and on air pollution, http://www.4cleanair.org/topics/details/air-pollutants (and the connections between the two).

The website notes: "The addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from human activities has warmed the atmosphere – the average temperature of the Earth’s surface increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, with about 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit of this warming occurring just over the past three decades. This global warming has resulted in observed changes to the weather and climate, sea level rise, melting of ice and glaciers, and other impacts. According to a 2013 overview of the evidence for and causes of climate change prepared by the National Academy of Sciences, “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate.”

I didn't find the reference to per capita decreases in emissions, but note that there can be a net increase while there is simultaneously a per capita decrease (depending on the magnitude of each).

Phil Mason

Since there is not a button to reply to your reply, I will use this method to reply to your 1:30 comment. While there is a report by those who support climate change with the additional predisposition to blame man"s "fault" for any increase, there is no attempt on their part to input the "heat island" surrounding the traditional measuring stations as a possible contributor to the final data. Again, the vacuum of articles that include the solar activity, natural cyclical patterns that have occurred throughout recorded time, or any other phenomena as not only contributing but possibly controlling. If those who are concerned about a life of our planet ending in ridiculous terms like eight years were to spend their time and efforts to impact countries like China, India, and other grievous nations and provide public credit for the reductions in our country. If that were to happen, improvements could be possible, if their concerns are truly of some import.

Gretchen Reinhardt

Response to Nov. 21, 4:54 pm comment: I am a bit confused. I went to the source, “Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies”, you suggested to learn about CO2 emissions having “gone down”. Is that an organization that you trust?

I don’t know who “wants” to blame people (rather than the sun or other natural cycles), but I do know that this issue has been well-studied and explained by science (https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/14/is-the-sun-causing-global-warming/).

However, I do notice that the problems might be easier to correct by people if people have created the problem (rather than, for example, the sun causing the problem). I would also personally consider “heat island” issues to be “human caused”, and we do appear to be in agreement that the heat island challenges are very significant in Arizona for the Phoenix metro area. This Scientific American article is about Phoenix’s heat island challenges: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-phoenix-is-working-to-beat-urban-heat/

Phil Mason

Climate change is an eternal cycle of our planet. Man cannot eliminate the natural rhythm of Earth and to believe that false narrative is failing to look at the history.

Those of us who have been around since the 50's remember that we were being taught by the "scientists" that we were entering the new "ice age" then twenty years we were being bombarded with global warming; then it morphed into "climate change".

It is important to note that each of these "scientists" were being funded by those with a self interest end game. Al Gore and his minions have become multi millionaires telling the rest of us to sacrifice while increasing their personal carbon footprint exponentially..

One fact: Most of the "global warming" stats have been the result of urban areas world wide expanding close - and many times surrounding - the traditional monitoring stations.

Also, please remember that the United States has already reduced its carbon footprint by nearly 20% and dwindling. We cannot change the global problem since ALL of the increases have occurred outside our country and there is NO legislation that even attempts to address that reality - not even from the corrupt UN since the majority of the member countries are the biggest problems.

Phil Mason

To Gretchen's 11-22 4:54 comment - - No one denies the heat island effect. The problem is that the heat island data is put into the final conclusions without explanation and then it is used without filtering to come to the "crisis" as if the other 95% of the planet is being impacted similarly, which it is NOT. Using faulty data sets and not accounting for localized aberrations will always lead to faulty conclusions.

Also, the cries of the environmentalists is ALWAYS focused on the human effects, regardless of the size of their impacts, and then their answer is that we can solve the problem by making human sacrifices that will have negligible impact compared to the natural cycles like sun spots activity and cataclysmic natural events like volcanic eruptions.

Again we have went from one projected future (dust bowl, ice age, global warming, climate change) to another four times in my lifetime. The truth is NO ONE but God knows and to disrupt the entire economic structure of everybody for a regularly changing prognostication is crazy.

Also, the left wing always projects future calamity based on assumptions but mankind does not have the ability to project future solutions for those future calamities since we do not know the future solutions we will man will create.

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