Too many issues to address here, but I will select a few for comment. Douglas apparently claimed weather is hitting extremes in a way it never before had, and natural weather disasters have increased by a multiple of three or four times over the past few decades. For other opinions see "Tornado activity hits 60 year low" (USA Today, May 9, 2013) and "U.S. Hurricane Frequency Down 40 percent Since the 19th Century" (Real Science, May 12, 2013).
With all due respect, Mr.. Douglas's contention that 97 percenet of the peer reviewed and published climate change research suggest humans are contributing to the warming of the planet is, I think, outdated or misleading. The most recent extensive study I am aware of is by John Cook, published in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters (May 16, 2013). Cook is a proponent of anthropogenic global warming. The Cook study is based on articles published and peer reviewed between 1991 and 2011. A careful reading of his study indicates that two-thirds of the scientists questioned (8,000) take no position on the cause of global warming.
Although 32.6 percent of the abstracts endorsed AGW, the authors were not questioned whether it was a primary or significant cause. Common sense dictates that human activity contributes to global temperatures. But whether it is a primary or significant cause remains unsettled, in my opinion. Climate change is continuous and cyclical over decades and centuries.
Rather than premature, overreaching, politically motivated government intervention I think it is important we continue to study the unsettled science and see where it leads us. According to NASA (May 15, 2013) our sun has unleashed four pertinent solar flares over the past few days, common at this time in its 11-year activity cycle.
At the risk of sounding simplistic, just suppose the primary cause of climate change is so obvious as our sun and solar activity. Since astronomers tell us our sun is about half burned-out, that is something to start worrying about — in a few billion years.
Bob Jentges is a former teacher, coach and insurance claims superintendent and is part a team of Free Press readers invited to comment more frequently on issues of the day. He lives in North Mankato and considers himself a conservative.