Schenectady Class of ’94 seeking people to join in 20th reunion
As the Schenectady City School District begins to reorganize the district again, some of the products from the last major organization are planning their 20th high school reunion. With the school budget having passed, so did the plan to reorganize yet again.
As a parent and graduate, I’m apprehensive to embrace the idea of change. I’m unsure what, if any, impact it will have on my children's education. I know the upheaval it caused in my education when I was moved from Van Corlaer Elementary/Middle School to Oneida Middle School in eighth grade. Then, I went to Mont Pleasant and Schenectady High.
I am also aware of the benefits that change brought. There was more oppportunity to take advanced classes. I met a lot of great friends, some of whom I still stay in close contact with. I developed a flexibility that I would not have otherwise. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow. I hope my children and all the children of the district benefit from the changes that will begin happening soon.
In conclusion, I’d like to take the opportunity to invite The 1994 Class of Schenectady High, friends and staff to our 20th reunion. It will take place at Proctor’s Theater on July 26. Tickets can be bought through the box office or at http://proctors.org/events/SSH-1994.
Man-made global warming is settled science
The June 17 letter, “Despite what professors wrote, climate change is not ‘settled science’,” is wrong on all counts. I know this because my daughter and her husband are Ph.D. climate scientists who work with the IPCC and the National Academies of Sciences internationally. I rely on them to be my authorities on the subject of climate change.
They have assured me that man-made global warming has been settled science since the 19th century. (Actually, you can find that much out on Wikipedia!) There is not a single scientific body of national or international standing that does not agree that global warming is man-made.
Last year there were 10,866 peer-reviewed climate science papers published and not one said that global warming is not man-made. That’s because it’s a demonstrable fact, not a theory. Like the boiling point of water or the speed of light or X and Y chromosomes, scientists don’t waste their time debating it.
Rather than “cold, hard facts,” which the “settled science” letter claims to have, it’s filled with climate change denier myths. First, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachuri never said there was a “pause” in global warming. This myth started with a report in The Australian, which Patchuri denies, and the IPCC specifically denounced the “pause” as “deeply misleading.” That’s as close as scientists ever get to saying something’s a big, fat lie.
Here are the facts: The World Meteorological Organization reports that 13 of the 14 warmest years in recorded weather history have all occurred in the opening years of the 21st century. NASA records show each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, and the 2001-to-2010 decade is the warmest in history so far.
This past April ties with April 2010 as the hottest April ever recorded. and it was the 350th month in a row that temperatures were consistently higher than the 20th century average. The last time the globe’s monthly temperature was cooler than normal was February 1985, just about the time global warming really got going.
As for the letter’s nonsensical claim that the 37 trillion cubic tons of excess we’re pumping into the atmosphere every year is not causing climate change, this is 37 trillion cubic tons more than can possibly be absorbed normally. You can see the denier mantra, “CO2 is good for the planet” more throughly refuted, along with a host of other denier myths, at the Skeptical Science website. It’s run by volunteer climate scientists who use peer-reviewed data, but write about in plain English anyone can understand. It’s a great source for real climate change information.
I was unable to find anything in science magazine remotely like the claims made in the letter about ice core records and CO2 (carbon dioxide). However, the world’s most-highly respected peer-reviewed science journal, “Science,” has a wealth of climate science papers proving that the ice core records show CO2 rises exactly correlate with global temperature increases.
Fred Singer, used in the letter as the authority on climate change, is one of a handful of deniers for hire. He was, at one time, a legitimate scientist and professor. But leaked documents from the PR firm, Heartland, funded by the fossil fuel billionaires, the Koch brothers (Heartland used to be funded by RJ Reynolds to deny that smoking causes lung cancer.), show Singer now takes $5,000 a month from Heartland to deny the real climate science. (Scientific American, “Dark Money” and DeSmog Blog).
Singer also worked with an organization challenging the claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that second-hand tobacco smoke is bad for human health (DeSmog Blog). You can read more about the billion-dollar climate-denial operation funded by fossil fuels in Scientific American (Google “Dark Money”).
Singer is not “widely published,” at least not in the last couple decades, as no climate deniers can withstand the peer-review process all scientists’ work must undergo for their work to be published. That’s what real scientists do, they publish their work in peer-reviewed science journals. Singer did publish a book denying that global warming was man-made, but it was funded by the natural gas industry. (DeSmog Blog). Singer’s misnamed “Independent Institute” is dependent on Exxon-Mobil to the tune of $85,000 (DeSmog Blog).
The letter says there have been periods of climate change in the past, something anyone who didn’t sleep through science class ought to know. This proves exactly nothing. What’s important is that there is a mountain of hard, scientific data proving that the period of climate change on steroids we’re just starting to experience, faster and more intense than anything since the asteroid hit that nearly extinguished all life on Earth, is caused by our burning fossil fuels.
Finally, to the letter’s claim that it was “settled science” that the Earth was flat 550 years ago: “ The myth of the Flat Earth is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical: “14th century belief in a flat Earth among the educated was almost nonexistent.” (Wikipedia) Another myth.
The denier myths aren’t just wrong, they’re dangerous. They keep the majority of Americans confused and unsure about just how dangerous climate change is. The dire threat of change makes my daughter and her husband fear for the future of their children, and so do I. That’s how dangerous it is.
That’s why I became a volunteer for the Citizens Climate Lobby working to convince Congress to pass a revenue-neutral carbon tax that’s paid by fuels to consumers, not the government. People buy clean energy with the tax money as the tax makes fossil fuels increasingly more expensive. We also tax imports, forcing CO2 polluters like China to go green to compete. Meanwhile, Americans use that tax money to buy U.S. products. According to a new REMI report, creating 2.8 million new jobs and adding 1$ trillion to GDP. All without government regulations or expense, just market forces.
We’ve paid over $1 trillion for climate change ( NOAA) and the International Energy Agency says just two more years of delaying major CO2 cuts will cost $4 trillion. Let’s do something about climate change before it does something to us.