The science isn't settled
I enjoyed your article about Greg Fishel and climate change ("Changing forecast," Oct. 21). I guess I would be called a "climate denier" by folks like you, but that would be wrong. We climate deniers don't deny the climate is changing, we just are not that sure it is because of human activity. Those I would call "climate fanatics"—you know, like Fox News fanatics—have even convinced the EPA to regard carbon dioxide as a poison gas that affects climate change. Well, the last time I checked, we humans have been breathing out carbon dioxide since forever.
That's just one point, but the other thing that has bugged me since all of this big push on climate change began is something I learned in elementary school. By the way, I am 66 years old. And that is that the Ohio Valley has been carved out not once but twice by glaciers during ice ages. The two events took place approximately 14,000 years apart. Now something happened to cause these glaciers to melt not once but twice, according to scientific research. My question would be, what caused the meltdown? I think I'm safe in believing that there were very few SUVs or large factories or electric power plants around at this time, and probably a lot less of us breathing out that poison gas, carbon dioxide.
The one statement that President Obama made that really caused me to sit up straight was the statement that the "science was settled." I have scientists in my family, and they laugh at this because apart from the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, science is always changing beliefs about things that are settled.
I guess the one thing that really bugs me about all of this climate-change business, and I believe it is a business (ask Al Gore), is geological time. When politicians says we may have passed the point of no return because of the records kept in the last 100 years, 100 years in geological time isn't even a nanosecond in a billion years, and scientists say [the Earth has] been around about 4 billion years.
I'm sure the members of No to NC Chicken Registration love their chickens just as much as the parents who oppose vaccinations love their unvaccinated kids ("The sky is falling," Oct. 21). The science-less dynamic is the same, and the outcome will be a big step backward in both cases.
The first U.S. occurrence of avian flu showed up among a hobbyist's flock in Washington state. Since then 50 million poultry nationwide have either caught the flu and died or have been euthanized to keep the flu from spreading at a cost approaching a billion dollars. There is no conspiracy going on here. There are no jack-booted government agents, black helicopters or even corporate ag types coming to take anyone's healthy backyard chickens away.
I'm a lefty Democrat who has fought Republicans going to back to the days of Strom Thurmond (never did beat the guy, but I have outlived him, so that is something), but I endorse what our Republican Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler wants to do: register backyard flocks so henkeepers can be kept abreast of developments and threatened flocks can be tested for the flu. Only if birds are infected will NCDA take any action.
My wife and I were leaders in the successful campaign to legalize backyard hens in the city of Durham. I write a column for Chickens magazine. We've both encouraged many people locally and nationwide to keep chickens. Registering our flock of three birds has been on the back burner. But given this bizarre anti-public-health effort (which gives libertarianism an unwarranted bad name), we're getting on the stick. I've just registered our chickens online, and we encourage other henkeepers in North Carolina to register their flocks so they get timely information about the possibility of avian flu coming to North Carolina.
Our state may get lucky and dodge this bullet. I hope so. But in the time it takes to post a paranoid rant on Facebook, henkeepers can sign up for accurate updates on avian flu at www.ncagr.gov/avianflu/.