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What you need to know for 04/27/2017

Global warming deniers have bought dogma of fossil-fuel industry

Global warming deniers have bought dogma of fossil-fuel industry

*Global warming deniers have bought dogma of fossil-fuel industry *Van Schaicks were good friends of

Global warming deniers have bought dogma of fossil-fuel industry

David Harsanyi’s April 6 column, “On the environment, the alarmists still losing,” cites many polling numbers, focusing on the public’s views on energy and global warming. He terms global warming “a theory that has been over-hyped and manipulated for political ends.” He ends after saying “...energy is less open to emotional appeals and pandering.”

I would agree that human-driven global warming has been “manipulated,” but not for political ends; rather, for economic ends. The energy industry has its future growth and profits at stake in this discussion, and it has responded over many years with a well-financed effort to convince both politicians and the general public that only good comes from burning fossil fuels. The industry has used this time to “pander” to the public.

Harsanyi’s words cause me to recall the efforts of Nicolas Copernicus less than 500 years ago to explain that the Earth revolves around the sun. The entrenched interests of the time didn’t want to hear this because it countered their established dogmas. Both the Catholic and Protestant churches made a valiant effort to discredit Copernicus.

Is this past historical event any different than the energy industry wanting to keep us hooked to their business dogma, so that we continue to burn fossil fuels to increase their profits? They will do nearly anything to discredit current global warming science, and Harsanyi seems to have fully accepted their arguments.

It took nearly 200 years for Copernicus to be accepted. Rapid change and 7 billion people weren’t part of Copernicus’ world. Today, we don’t have the luxury of 200 years to admit that our world is no longer the way we thought it was. Do we need many more Hurricane Sandys to sway the more than half of Americans who Harsanyi states don’t believe in man-made global warming? I hope not, for the future of my grandchildren.

Don Cooper

Amsterdam

Van Schaicks were good friends of Mabee Farm

Re April 6 article, “Sally Van Schaick dies at 90”: Not only were Sally and John Van Schaick very deserving Patroons of Schenectady, but if Rotterdam had such a program, Sally and John would be at the top of the list there, too.

I remember being at a meeting with Sally and John, along with Kim Mabee and a couple of others, and George Franchere, who had inherited the Mabee Farm and had given it to the Schenectady County Historical Society. He was a longtime friend of the Van Schaicks as well as Gary and Kim Mabee.

The farm had once been offered to the state Parks Department, but it wanted a huge commitment of annual donations to operate it so he gave it to the Historical Society instead. Franchere kept in touch with the committee running the farm, often coming up from Florida to check out what we were doing.

It was at this meeting [that he expressed his pleasure at how] we had raised the funds (thanks mostly to a matching grant from the Schenectady Foundation) to move the old Dutch barn from Johnstown to the Mabee Farm site, [and made] the farm available to the public, that he said he was going to put the Mabee Farm in his will, with all of the money to go directly to the farm.

When Franchere died, a huge sum was endowed, with lots of money coming from interest every year. In fact, the $2 million visitor center was built with this money, including some donations by other Mabee descendants, as well as society members. As part of the fund-raising committee, I remember when Sally and John also made an anonymous donation to help pay for relocating the barn. They were not only generous with money, but also their time. They were always at the farm helping to run programs for the public.

Mary Kuykendall-Weber

Middle Grove

Dangerous precedent in school class cancellation

I am extremely happy that the facts regarding the organic chemistry class have finally come to light [March 18 Gazette], as not everyone seems to be aware of how totally this situation is going to affect Duanesburg students, and not just those who took the class.

I am a junior at Duanesburg, and it is clear to me that the consequences of this situation will not disappear after the current seniors graduate.

The organic chemistry students were treated in a despicable manner, and the precedents set by this debacle, if they do in fact become precedents, are going to have a detrimental effect on the lower grades, including my grade.

So far, the administration has established that: 1) if a class’s course work is too difficult, that class can be dropped with little to no consequence; 2) signed agreements between teachers and students count for next to nothing; and 3) changing grades is a perfectly acceptable way to fix a problem.

If the idea that these are acceptable practices at Duanesburg becomes common knowledge among colleges, the effect could be that students are turned away from the college of their dreams because of poor administrative choices.

Mikayla Wolken

Duanesburg

Whatever happened to ‘global warming’?

How come this 2012-13 heating season, no one has said the words global warming?

I know my heating bill has definitely not said it.

Bob Nicolella

Scotia

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