Keep up contributions; Cause of our own demise; Term limits to 'drain the swamp' — Letters to the Editor, Aug. 7, 2019

For the “swamp” to be cleaned we first need to get rid of the old critters that have swum around in Congress and the Senate for years

Keep up contributions to the community

The feature, “Dangers, rewards of crabbing,” (Aug. 3) by Siuslaw News intern Victoria Sanchez was local, educational and composed nicely.

Effective use of photos, interviews and quotations made good reading for both longtime residents and newer folks alike. My wife and Enid and I have enjoyed Novelli’s award-winning [clam chowder] entries in the annual Florence Area Chamber of Commerce chowder contest in recent years.

We encourage the Novelli family and Victoria Sanchez to keep up their valuable contributions to the community.

—Ken Deibert


Cause of our own demise

While one might agree generally with Mr. Eales’ view (“We Are The Architects Of Our Own Demise,” July 24) that U.S. energy policy needs revision (though certainly not in the ways he implies), his comments on climate change are filled with errors of fact and interpretation.

In my view, the most serious problem in his statement relates to the role of greenhouse gases (GHGs) as casual agents in global warming.

Mr. Eales cites research done in the 1950s at Harvard and in Britain concluding that “…CO2 has very little greenhouse effect as it is swamped by water vapor.”

More recent research agrees with these nearly 70-year-old findings that water vapor accounts for the largest share of warming. Based on a 2010 study by NASA scientists and the Fifth U.N. Global Climate Change (IPCC) Report, water vapor accounts for some 50 percent of recent warming — but persists in the atmosphere for only about eight days. CO2 accounts for 20 percent of warming and persists for 30-95 years.

Methane and other GHGs account for about five percent of warming and persist for 12 years.

By these more recent results, water vapor is 2.5 times more important in warming than CO2. But the key item being overlooked is the persistence of the various GHGs in the atmosphere.

Water vapor lasts only about eight days. CO2 and other GHGs continue to augment warming for decades. Water vapor doesn’t accumulate in the atmosphere but the other GHGs do.

And that is exactly the point.

Human actions generate new GHG emissions faster that they dissipate from the air.

So atmospheric CO2 has reached 415 parts per million this year, the highest level estimated in more than 800,000 years with a continued rise in average global land-sea temperatures.

Worse, atmospheric water vapor and the GHGs are positively related (per NASA research). Higher levels of GHGs are associated with higher water vapor levels.

We may well be the cause of our own demise, as Mr. Eales suggests, but certainly not for the reasons he proposes.

—Darius Adams


Term limits is best way to ‘drain the swamp’

For the “swamp” to be cleaned we first need to get rid of the old critters that have swum around in Congress and the Senate for years. We need to implement term limits for those in both houses. Our President is elected to a four-year term, which gives him/her time to learn how to be a president. If all goes well, and if re-elected, the president can serve one more term and try to put his/her policies in place. 

By comparison, Senate members are elected for six years without any term limits; those in Congress are elected for two years without any term limits. That is why, over the years, we have had the following members serve and thrive for decades in the same silty swamp:

• Daniel Inouye: 53 years

• Storm Thurmond: 47 years

• Robert Bird: 51 years

• Ted Kennedy: 47 years

Currently, we have some serving in Congress who are I think are out of touch with our present reality:

• Richard Shelby: 85 years old

• Dianne Feinstein: 86 years old

• Mitch McConnell: 77 years old

• Nancy Pelosi: 77 years old

• Richard Shelby: 85 years old

• Chuck Grassley: 85 years old

This is where term limits need to come into to play. I do not think anyone in the Senate or Congress should be able to serve more than 24 years — or even 18 years. That would give them time to learn the workings of Washington and how to communicate with those from the right and left.

Then, we would have a better chance of getting rid of special interest groups and lobbyist who have so much influence imbedded into the our government swamp because of decades-long relationships. 

We need young voices and new ideas infused into our government on a regular basis.

—Win Jolley



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