Blocking a jab with a right hook

Dear Mr. Farley: Thank you for your recent letter to the editor (“Farley on Hook,” Letters, July 27) regarding my column (“Don’t believe me? See the movie,” Right Hook, July 13) that questioned global warming.

I normally wouldn’t slag on individual letter writers because this newspaper has policies against it. However, because of your standing as a columnist for the competition, your letter warrants some kind of rebuttal.

Since you are a columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal, I find it curious that you’d choose this newspaper’s letters page to call for my censorship. (That First Amendment is a real bear when you disagree with the opinion, isn’t it?) Or is it that you couldn’t find any space in your own column?

I also find it ironic that you referred to former President Richard Nixon (and the rest of us right-wingers) as “wackos.” As 30 seconds on Google would have revealed, it was Nixon who was responsible for the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Hardly the act of an anti-environment wacko, but then you flower power types have never been able to get over Watergate long enough to recognize any of the positive things the man actually accomplished.

I will stipulate that the continent of Antarctica is in fact a land mass. I’m guessing that’s why it’s referred to as a “continent.” That’s in contrast to the northern polar cap—to which I was originally referring but apparently did not sufficiently specify—which is, in fact, one giant ice cube. The whole point of the column was to suggest that even if human-caused global warming exists (which I doubt), there are a number of possible consequences—not all of them catastrophic.

For example, let’s also consider another fact that global warming Chicken Littles conveniently ignore. Every day, a few gazillion gallons of water evaporate from the planet. When water evaporates, it removes heat, thus lowering temperatures. Evaporative cooling helps keep the Earth’s surface from overheating. The same concept applies when you perspire. Therefore if the temperature rises, one could assume evaporation might also increase, thus having a net cooling effect. Or, the increased evaporation could, in turn, lead to an increase in relative humidity and an overall wetter planet because of a resulting increase in precipitation.

At the risk of sounding redundant, a rise in global temperatures doesn’t automatically equate to worldwide flooding. (Although I suppose the up side in such a case is that Democrats might actually carry a presidential election with Florida safely underwater.) However, if you consider my suggestions of possible alternatives to be “misinformation,” I submit that your resolute promotion of the idea that global flooding is the only possible outcome to global warming is simplistic disinformation.

In any event, I’m guessing the editors of the Reno News & Review might consider your claim that my column provided a “disservice to [its] readers” were it not advanced by someone who is also a Senior Contributing Editor for Autoweek Magazine. That publication is dedicated to “help enable the automotive lifestyle of [its] subscribers” (www.autoweek.com). Now, as you people keep telling me, automobiles—and their related lifestyle of bourgeois consumption—are the single largest contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming.

So if I understand your mentality correctly, to indirectly encourage global warming vis-a-vis your columns is an exercise in “reason and logic” so long as you actually denounce the results. But to suggest alternative consequences to the same is a “disservice"?

OK, that makes sense. Or perhaps not. Although I’m guessing all those “undecideds” would rather side with a “wacko” like me over a pious hypocrite.