Climate change

Dear Editor,

Although I’m no climate change expert, actually far from it, I did some research and found some interesting things. One needs to go online and look up a map of the amount of aircraft, and ships, on the globe at “any instantaneous moment”. The quantities of each, on these two “maps”, made an immediate impact. Many large ships are powered by electricity, with the electricity coming from on-board generators powered by diesel engines and/or turbines. Also keep in mind that aircraft are right up there at high altitudes, spewing out their exhaust and ships are doing the same at sea level.

The Kyoto Protocol on climate change had both shipping and aircraft in it – right up till it was to be signed – and then both were removed. In the Paris Agreement, it says both were not even in there from the beginning. The Paris Agreement lets each country set its own emission-reduction limits too. We all know how that would work as it’s written that only two countries (Morocco and Gambia) set their limits anywhere near what was considered adequate by the scientific community.

Aircraft engines emit carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxides, water vapor and other elements. It’s been published that, in the European Union, greenhouse gas emissions from aviation increased by 87% between 1990 and 2006. It’s also written that due to low or non-existent taxes on aviation fuel, air travel enjoys a competitive advantage over other transportation means due to lower fares. It’s further written that aircraft emissions, flying at high altitudes, have a more harmful climate impact because they trigger a series of chemical reactions and atmospheric effects that have a net warming effect that is 2 to 4 times greater than the effect of their carbon dioxide emissions alone.

According to data published by NASA, those causing climate change are water vapor, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane. NASA further notes that the levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused the increase in earth’s temperature over just the last 50 years.

So how is the scientific community represented in Congress? A degree in “Political Science” is not science and neither is a law degree, a business degree or a medical degree, all of which cover most all of those in congress. Given this, do you think much will change? The only thing most of us know about it is the dramatic melting of the icebergs we see on TV. Maybe it’ll take that 16-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, to bring some science into congress. Given the backgrounds of those in congress, I’m not too hopeful much will change anytime soon. When a business is cutting cost (people), usually the first to go are the Research and Development scientific personnel. America doesn’t even vote those characters into Congress in the first place.

Dennis Corey,