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Editor's Corner: EPA shouldn’t tinker with climate

September 22, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency would like to be in charge of the nation’s climate change initiatives, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.


America’s efforts to keep the climate from warming might be well meant, but so far not much has happened that will turn down the gradually rising heat.


The authority former President Barack Obama gave the EPA is pretty much a make-work project for climate scientists, and the Trump administration is going to change that.


We know the climate has been heating up for many decades, following a period of cooling that began in the 1700s and lasted into the 20th century.


We know this cooling period happened because there are written records.


Other cooling periods, followed by warming periods, happened before that, but we know about those primarily due to geological information collected by scientists.


One thing we do know is that heat comes from the sun, and that the sun goes through cycles of heating and cooling that aren’t affected by greenhouse gas presence on earth.


The two recent hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, are being touted as evidence that greenhouse gases make hurricanes worse, but powerful hurricanes have occurred before without leaving evidence that greenhouse gases induce the overwhelming heat that drives hurricanes. That comes from the sun.


The recent solar eclipse showed us something, which was that the shadow of the moon can cause a cooling of the earth by blocking sunlight, even though greenhouse gases were present.


All the forest fires we’ve experienced this summer and last created enormous quantities of gases and other pollutants. Doing a better job of managing forests on public lands would help reduce greenhouse gases, but we don’t hear much on that coming from government foresters, because the majority of them are into trying not to manage forests.


There are vast stretches of privately managed forests on private lands in this country that burn relatively little when they catch fire. That’s because those who own them treat them like valuable assets. Those forests produce oxygen and keep their carbon bottled up in wood.


As The Washington Examiner points out, the EPA should “stick to its knitting,” and clean up actual areas of pollution, such as Super Fund sites, rather than tinkering with our forests as if they were huge laboratories.

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