Letters to the Editor

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After two letters (“Spoken like a dinosaur,” and “Truth behind climate catastrophe,” Oct. 3) with wild critiques of my recent commentary against the climate-change hysteria (“Questioning the Truth behind Climate Catastrophe,” Sept. 26) and the editor’s comment appended to Chuck Park’s letter (“Cobb is spot on,” Oct. 10) I feel a rebuttal is in order. 

First of all, the critics did not address the central issue that we simply cannot produce enough power without fossil fuels, and a lot of people could die if we attempt the radical curtailment of carbon- dioxide output. Park’s promotion of fusion energy is on the mark. Why haven’t the climate-change people pushed this big-time? 

Second, the common line that scientists who criticize the man-caused climate-change thesis are on the take from the oil companies is an easy pot-shot. I know of very reputable scientists who have come to their conclusions, not for money, but from honest scientific investigation. 

Take Judith Curry, atmospheric scientist and climatologist, who was hounded out of her position at Georgia Tech for questioning the prevailing dogma. Or others, including John Cristy, climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and Henrik Svensmark, physicist at the Danish National Space Institute. This is just a sampling. I could cite many more.

Finally, doing the research, doesn’t mean just looking up what a website like Climate Feedback has to say. Despite the image I feel they try to purvey, they are highly biased and are staffed by true-believers in the climate-catastrophe religion. 


Hunter Cobb

Property owners in Alameda will soon be receiving a ballot in the mail asking them to weigh in on the Water Quality and Flood Protection Fee. Alameda is an island vulnerable to sea-level rise. I attended all the public meetings leading up to the City Council adoption of the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan and learned that our stormwater system is a critical piece of the infrastructure that will help make our island more resilient to the impacts of sea-level rise.

The stormwater system protects the city from flooding. The city’s stormwater account is depleted and significant upgrades are required for its pumping stations, outfalls and trash capture devices. The annual cost of upgrading and maintaining the stormwater system is estimated at $5.45 million with current revenues at just $2.56 million. 

The city’s current $56 fee has not been increased for 15 years. The new stormwater fee will cost the average homeowner an additional $78 (depending on the size of the parcel). The total fee would be $134 ($56 plus $78) for an average single family home.  Commercial fees are based on the amount of impermeable surfaces on the parcel.

Anticipating greater storms in the future, the upgraded storm water system will: protect our streets from flooding, reducing interruption of traffic; filter pollutants and trash from storm run-off, saving our beaches and Bay water quality and reduces impacts of storm surge, high tide and rising sea level upon low-lying land and homes.

The Water Quality and Flood Protection Fee ballot was mailed to property owners on Oct. 10. Please return the ballot by Nov. 25 and vote “yes!”


Ruth Abbe

Of course one city’s forum on gun violence won’t bring an end to our nation’s epidemic of gun deaths (“Will a city forum stop gun violence?” Oct. 10). However, any discussion of this issue — from coffee house chatter to national forums — is in my view, a good thing.

As a probation officer trainee for Alameda County in 1963, our training officer told our class that research showed that introducing firearms into any environment increased the level of aggression. In my 30 years of work as a probation officer I saw the truth of this assertion up close and personal — bad situations made worse by the presence of guns. The more our fellow citizens learn about and discuss this issue the more likely change may come about. 

Other countries have enacted reasonable gun laws: background checks, banning assault rifles, required training courses, etc. We can, too.


Tom Engh