Sunday, June 14, 2009

Letter to Congressman Larsen

Dear Congressman Larsen,

Thank you for holding the town meeting in Ferndale this Saturday. I had a couple of comments, but time ran out, so I'm sending it here.

I was pleased to hear that you thought that Waxman's cap & trade bill is flawed, but I was dismayed that your objection seemed to be wrapped up in quibbling over the allocation of carbon credits.

As a life-long student of science and the philosophy of science, as well as an amateur meteorologist who knows the difficulty in getting accurate climate data, I was frustrated that you appear to have accepted the premise:

1. That global warming (now A.K.A. climate change, because evidence of warming is diminishing) is a problem that has, or needs, a solution (least of all a government solution).

2. That CO2 is a pollutant (The Supreme Court decision doesn't impress me any more than the 1897 Indiana legislature declaring PI to be rational).

3. That the science is settled. Concensus is no substitute for the truth. A true scientist is skeptical, and seeks the truth, not a hug.

Cap & trade, or carbon tax, or whatever you want to call it, will not "punish" polluters. It will merely increase the cost of everything -- from food and transportation, refrigeration and home heating to recreational activities. It will punish everyone, and it will situate the federal government squarely in the middle of practically everything we ever do. It is a central government power grab of historical proportions. Please do not stand by and allow individual liberty to be decimated in this way.

Like it or not, the US Constitution does not grant the government the authority to "save the planet". One definition of tyranny is special interests using the force of government to ram their agenda down my throat. If Al Gore or Nancy Pelosi want us to save the planet, they have the first amendment right to make the case to convince We the People to do so of our own free will.

Finally, be careful what you wish for. Alternative energy can be seductive. The flaws in new technology are rarely evident when only a few people are using it. When 300 million are, the problems become obvious when it is too late. For example, do you think environmentalists (or even land owners within view) will allow windmills on every hillcrest in the country? How about solar collectors? I don't think so. That 300 million people use fossil fuel with surprisingly few problems is a clue that we shouldn't be too hasty to throw it out.

Karl Uppiano

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