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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words opinion@seattletimes.com.

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December 16, 2008 12:12 PM

Global warming

Posted by Letters editor

Drill, baby, drill

The extreme environmentalists' anxiety for the Northwest to blaze a path to a green grid overlooks the unintended consequences of energy production by governmental edict and the significant role market forces play in this arena ["Northwest may blaze U.S. path to green grid," News, Dec. 15]. As the BPA [Bonneville Power Administration] has warned, variable wind power requires large amounts of balancing services to back up times when the wind isn't blowing. This could be expensive.

As The Times' article on this subject pointed out, there are 31 federally owned dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries that deliver power to the Northwest. We are currently spending millions of dollars to preserve salmon runs inhibited by these dams. The government's subsidizing of biofuels didn't consider the resulting higher prices and shortage of food for the world's population, deforestation, loss of habitat and dead sea zones caused by fertilizer runoffs.

Aramco, Saudi Arabia's nationalized oil company, has recently discovered oil reserves far exceeding their previous oil reserves. They estimate a continuous supply of this newly discovered oil for at least 50 years. The tapping of this oil will be done with the latest lateral drilling technology so as not to disturb the pristine nature of the Saudi desert. Perhaps we could learn some lessons from the Arabians, who certainly learned from us.

-- Bob Dorse, Seattle

Get real

Once again, the scientific minds of folks who look at local, momentary weather patterns and determine that global warming is a hoax (all because they're cold), are put on display, this time by Steve Keeler ["Global what?," Northwest Voices, Dec. 16].

Kind of like saying the U.S. doesn't have a trash problem because Chicago is so clean. Keeler has not kept up on reports that show the ice pack of Greenland disappearing at record speed, or that ice shelves in the Antarctic, which have been solid for as long as there have been surveys, have drifted off to sea and aren't refreezing.

There are no more "snows of Kilimanjaro." The Arctic polar ice cap is going to be gone in a few years, and the Northwest Passage, once the scourge of northern sailors, is now easily navigable. If the northern polar ice cap melts completely, the "great conveyor belt" of the northern Atlantic will cease to be, and Europe will be locked in a permanent ice age.

Global warming causes bizarre local weather events -- some of them cold.

-- Sten Ryason, Seattle

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