Regarding Gary Kump's followup letter on climate change: I agree with several points he makes in his 4/8 letter. I know carbon dioxide is not a toxic substance like carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide; however, my point is that it's a mistake to discount the effect of chemicals because of small quantities or minute changes. Whether the effects are lethal and measured in hours, or subtle, measured in decades, a fraction of a percent is a significant, measurable change. Even a few parts per million methane is enough to shift the natural equilibrium and accelerate the natural cycle.
I also agree with his observation that oceans have been rising since the last ice age. What is the driving force behind it? Naturally occurring changes in the CO2 cycle, and I contend, the aggravation of these changes by human beings.
I too am all for clean air. I am also all for reducing fossil fuel consumption, minimizing waste of resources, and advocating technology as a means for achieving these goals. Finally, I feel we scientists and engineers need to pursue these goals on their own merits, regardless of the how the political and sociological debate turns out.
Ross Whelchel, Butte