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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Dealing Realistically With Climate Change | News, Sports, Jobs - Jamestown Post Journal

Dealing Realistically With Climate Change | News, Sports, Jobs – Jamestown Post Journal

When it comes to dealing with climate change, the reality of what is happening is often over-shadowed by the “show-biz” and “hoopla” that we see in press releases and headlines.

The average American, I believe, is convinced that some type of global warming is going on. One reason being, that science has confirmed that there have been multiple ice ages over the course of the history of the earth, followed by times of warming…and now is one of those times.

While vacationing recently in the “sunshine state,” I read a book on the geologic history of Florida. Millenniums ago, geologists generally agree that Florida was about twice as wide as it currently is. The reason being that it coincided with a time of cooling and ice build-up on the planet. Moisture (water) was taken from the sea in the form of ice and glaciers, thus reducing sea levels and expanding the real estate of Florida.

Now, we are in a different cycle, with decreasing ice and dwindling glaciers, and sea levels are coming up. We know that some of this warming is related to human population impacts, the increased use of energy and its effect on the environment.

I am in favor of reducing greenhouse gases and pollution impacts….as I am sure most of you are. What irks me a bit though, is the knee-jerk reaction that somehow we can flip-flop things, and totally stop global warming. We may be able to slow it, but mother nature has already started us on a planet-wide warming trend.

Recently, the absurdity of at least one effort was on display in Holland. There, in the home of the Holstein-Friesian cow, politicians in the Netherlands passed a law requiring a cutback in the number of cows since manure causes methane release. The farmers rebelled, tractors blocked major highways, politicians saw the “error in their ways,” ran for political cover and reversed their banning of dairy cows.

The same type of thing has been happening in Albany where some, in the name of slowing climate change, are threatening to stop the burning of natural gas to heat our homes. I hope that eventually, as in Holland–reality, common-sense, and reason will prevail. Politicians should listen to their constituents, some of whom–myself included–still remember the smoke-filled skies when coal was the primary heating fuel around here–a reality that clean-burning natural gas ended.

So, what does make energy sense? In that regard, I was encouraged by recent news from the largest employer in Chautauqua County, Cummins Engine. Cummins knows that cleaner burning engines are needed, so they have developed an engine that can run on natural gas, methane or hydrogen … or combinations thereof, as an alternative to diesel.

Combined with an oft-maligned American energy company, Chevron, supplying the energy, Cummins is field-testing this engine in a truck scheduled to drive cross-country from Indiana to California. And guess where this engine is made? Yes, right here in Ashville, New York!

This is the kind of real, practical effort to reduce emissions and help slow climate change that the public can understand and support. We can do things to help the environment while not destroying the economy that serves us all. Good for Cummins and congratulations to its employees who work here and are making it happen!

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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