Letter To The Editor: Long History Of Naysayers

Los Alamos

Dear Mr. Gerald Antos (letter), Mr. Joel Williams (letter), and anyone else who will listen:

There are in this world and in this present time naysayers and also holders of half-truths. Mr. Antos, you would have an answer for a riddle of Nature and Humankind and in so doing ask that scientific basis be called upon to provide an answer.

The true nature of scientific inquiry is based on the riddle that must be answered and you have spoken well in riddling the riddle!

Mr. Antos, you riddle. Mr. Joel Williams: “If man’s pollution is the only one responsible for greenhouse gases what does your science tell you about the 24 plus volcanoes whose eruptions and continuing output of millions of tons of pollutants around the world?” A riddle with a purpose?

Perhaps the point of the riddle is that human activities produce a lot of air pollution, (highly generalized term), are singular, and are different from air polluting activities of Mother Nature herself … i.e. volcanoes (very specific), which also produce a vast amount of air pollution, too.

Or else, why is volcanism not considered as a significant source of greenhouse gas in the context of global warming and science? Reformulation of the riddle. Mr. Antos, you eloquently add that “Even Mother Nature is not kind to herself and will destroy herself if allowed to! Point taken and acknowledged Mr. Antos … touché!

Regarding your response to Mr. Joel Williams and your point about volcanoes … I want to let you know that I agree with you that volcanoes do indeed spew out much carbon dioxide and also add they spew many other things as well to the atmosphere.

Accepting the fact of volcanoes contributing significantly to global warming and denying the human factor is only a half-truth of reality. It is common sense among us who do not doubt in truth. The naysayers need indisputable resolution to understand the big picture. These can be anyone and everyone…not just the scientists.

I need no scientist or purveyor of facts to tell me of what I already know as a fact and indisputable. But I am willing and grateful for correction!

I took a flight some years ago from Los Angeles to Albuquerque and it was simple to see from this perspective (the plane) that for anyone with eyes to recognize that the brown atmosphere below the airplane (observed on the entire route!) was pollution. The brown tint of the air was pollution below me. I spoke with a fellow traveler and we both agreed. I am informed…watch and read the news…no volcanoes erupting.

 Recently on a flight from Atlanta to Albuquerque the unmistakable brownish tint in the air was again also undeniable (pollution). Subsequently … this pollution is harder to observe when standing stationary on the surface of the earth. However, so real is smog from the perspective of the residents of Beijing, that the dust masks that are worn testify to the undeniable fact.

So, finally to answer your riddle in small truth…Volcanoes do contribute highly to global warming. Yes Humankind pollution does also contribute highly to global warming. However, a much larger truth is also a riddle in the form of analogy and metaphor … to answer the riddle.

The atmosphere (global warming) is like a heavy smoker who has smoked for many years. His lung capacity has been greatly diminished and this has invited in a host of ailments to the smoker such as emphysema, heart disease, etc. However, there is a synergistic effect for volcanoes and pollution:

  • Simple: That nature pollutes the atmosphere and so do humans.
  • Structured: the humankind pollution of the atmosphere adds to the pollution from the volcanoes.
  • Complex: removal of ecosystems (trees and such) denies Mother Nature its capacity to wash and cleanse the atmosphere at a proportionate (or balanced) rate through carbon sequestration. This means that the sum total of carbon emissions exceeds Mother Nature’s ability to remove it at rate that would prevent the sky from being brown and trapping heat.

Rain helps clean the air and so does snow (as well as other aspects of the carbon cycle). But it can be scientifically hypothesized that the earth’s atmosphere does not produce enough rain or snow to sufficiently cleanse the air from carbon inundation. Carbon fixation by plants is one major element in the carbon cycle. A fact of science and indisputable.

I conclude by writing that on the flight from Atlanta … it is undeniably evident to the eye that there is a seemingly unbroken patch work of agricultural fields in continuous perpetuity from Atlanta to West Texas.

In closing, naysayers, I implore understanding that it was not always so … just a short, short time ago your grandfather’s grandfather had he had the ability to fly over America, he would have seen an undeniable Truth. The whole of America from Atlanta to West Texas would have been to his eye an unbroken and continuous perpetuity of unbroken patchworks of forest, lakes, rivers, meadows … etc., this was his Truth.

Scientists need to strongly consider that volcanoes need to be counted in the equation too. Lastly, I add a hypothesis that the global warming heating affect is perhaps algorithmically increased due to the fact that there are less green zones … i.e. … green belts of vast expanses of trees to filter the air and to fix the carbon in living tissue.

These things are common sense and a child would receive them as Truth. To those who dwell in half-truths and to the naysayers I implore you please talk to your children and they will explain it to you so that it makes sense. Or else, you could get out of denial and justification and become like little children (curious innocent believers), and do something about global warming. Scientist … more truth is always a good thing to answer the riddles.

So, recycle and use re-usable grocery bags, eliminate excess plastic bags, eat less meat (cuts down on greenhouse gases such as methane), eat far more fruits and veggies. Take only what you need and leave the rest from what I say and from nature.

Mother nature is out of balance because of us and the volcanoes and when we damn a stream, destroy a habitat, spill oil into a river etc., … John Lennon sings “I tell them there’s no problem … only solutions.” I say keep it simple and let the innocent beliefs of children take root inside everyone. Children are the most curious and so are scientists. 

There were naysayers and half-truth holders around when your great, great grandpa was around, too. Thanks for your ear.