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Commentaries and editorials

First Things First --
Help the Starving

by Charles Phillips
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, May 19, 2019

What we need to do is slaughter all the sea lions that are eating all the fish. Duh!

Graphic: Adjusted Estimate of salmonid consumed by California and Stellar sea lions at Bonneville Dam, from Jan 1. to June 2, 2002-2018 Fool's names and fool's faces are often seen in public places. And that certainly seems to be true today, especially when it comes to our politicians on both sides of the aisle. But it also pertains, when it comes to names at least, to frequent writers of letters to the editor. So here I go again.

I want to compliment and commend U-B Editorial Page Editor Rick Eskil for his recent editorial about the ridiculous bill whereby our state Legislature appropriated $750,000 to once again study how the removal of the dams on the lower Snake River might save the salmon and the orcas.

As retired U.S. Army Corps (or Corpse as Obama would say) Engineer John McKern has pointed out time and again in his letters, the removal of the dams would do very little, if anything, to improve salmon runs.

If one wants to ensure that the orcas are getting enough to eat and that enough salmon are getting upstream then what we need to do is slaughter all the sea lions that are eating all the fish. Duh!

I know thoughts like this will rankle my friends on the political left who seem to buy into every fashionable cause celebre of the day (e.g., global warming or climate change or whatever it's now called).

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says we're all going to be dead in 12 years if we don't do something to halt global warming. This scared all my grandkids to death.

Hey, I don't deny that the planet is warming a mite, but there's very little evidence to ascribe the problem to CO2 emissions.

Please read Steve Singleton's letter to the editor of May 12. (below)

Moreover, as Matt Ridley points out in his book, The Rational Optimist, the consequences of the current warming trend will be inconsequential, even if the IPCC's prognostications are correct.

Rather than worry about global warming, we'd do better to try and help the starving millions in Africa, Venezuela and other places around the world. First things first, I always say. Do thoughts like this make me a bad person? Don't answer that! I already know that I'm a bad person!


Bart Preecs (April 26 letter to the editor) wrote “hardened experienced national security experts have sworn oaths to protect our country” by providing worldwide threat assessments. I've known many security experts during my 28 years with CIA mostly overseas and, like them, have sworn oaths to protect our country.

I salute them all, but Preecs should realize those who write assessments regarding climate are analysts sitting in cubicles, providing questionable data gleaned from politically-biased sources like the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as do staffs of politicians such as Al Gore, Barack Obama, Jay Inslee, et al. I've read many annual Threat Assessments including the 80-page 2018 WTA by Director of National Intelligence and by Defense Intelligence Agency. They identify all potential threats and sure, recently there were brief references to potential climate changes -- but they rely upon politically-biased sources that do not prove or disprove anthropogenic causes.

Another factor is that military and defense branches are always vying for a piece of the funding pie every fiscal year, so naturally they would add defense against climate change, whether natural or anthropogenic.

Earth's temperature has risen before when atmospheric CO2 was lower and has dropped when CO2 levels were higher. Association or correlation between temperature and CO2 is not evidence of causation by CO2. The main driver has always been the sun (solar irradiance).

Many graphs depict correlation/causation of temperature increases/decreases. They clearly reflect how over the last 2,000 years solar maximums and orbital eccentricities/precession/obliquity -- not CO2 -- drive planetary temperature changes including the Roman Warm Period (500 BC-500 AD); Dark Ages Cool Period (500-1000 AD; Medieval Warm Period (1000-1500 AD); Little Ice Age (Maunder and Dalton Minimums, 1500-2000 AD) and a slight ongoing Modern Warm Period from 2000 AD). Climate models mostly ignore these climate swings.

Those targeted by politically-biased mainstream media should suspect claims of “hottest month or year” because a slight warm spike of one or two hundredths of a degree more accurately should be described as “slightly warmer or cooler” than a particular point in the climate record. “Hottest ever” is one of many tricks warmists employ to panic the public into spending tax dollars on a non-problem.

“Global Warming and Cooling evolution of Climate on Earth” by scientists O.G. Sorokhtin, G.V. Chilingar and L.F. Khilyuk is filled with scientific papers (and formulae). Their conclusion is that “the anthropogenic impact on the global atmospheric temperature is negligible.” Thousands of scientists agree.

Steve Singleton, Walla Walla

Related Sites:
Carbon dioxide levels hit landmark at 415 ppm, highest in human history by Ryan W. Miller and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY


Graphic: Consumption of spring Chinook Salmon by pinnipeds at Bonneville Dam tailrace during the spring sampling seasons from 2002 to 2018. Passage counts of Chinook Salmon includes both adult and jack salmon.


Charles Phillips, Walla Walla
First Things First -- Help the Starving
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, May 19, 2019

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