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Opinion – January 23 – February 26, 2015

Letters to the editor

Editor,

I was very disappointed to see that my statements regarding SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan were misquoted and misinterpreted by Mr. Meyer, a Sierra Club representative [Editor’s note: Jeffrey Meyer wrote the Dec. 26 guest editorial, “Better effort needed on local climate action plans.”].
For the record, I have never said that I wanted on-ramps and/or off-ramps and not transit. That is a flat-out lie. I did say that my constituents, the citizens of La Mesa, were more concerned with getting the 23-years-in-the-making on-ramps/off-ramps completed at the state Route 94/125 interchange than they were with the lawsuit filed by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation against SANDAG regarding the 2050 Regional Plan. This is the truth and a far cry from saying we should plan for freeway on-ramps/off-ramps, not transit. As I also said, SANDAG is a regional decision-making body, and transit decisions must be tailored to what member cities and the county of San Diego need. Some areas need more buses, some more bike paths, and yes, some need completion of freeway off-ramps and freeway expansions to make our regional transportation system work effectively and in a manner that benefits all San Diegans, not one interest group or another.

— Kristine Alessio, La Mesa City Councilmember and member of the SANDAG Board of Directors

Editor,

The editorial “Better effort needed on local climate action plans” in the most recent edition of the Courier advocates an illogical response to an ill-defined problem.

Mr. Meyer’s call for more action in La Mesa is illogical because even if he is correct about carbon dioxide being the sole cause of warming observed to date, and even if the climate models’ most extreme predictions are correct, there is nothing La Mesa can do that will make even the tiniest measurable difference in the future temperature of the earth. La Mesa is a very small city with no landfills and no heavy industry. Even were La Mesa to prescribe something as draconian as requiring all new citizens to live in high-rise apartments along the trolley tracks and ride bicycles instead of driving cars, there would be no measurable impact on the earth’s temperature.

Contrary to what the “do anything at any cost to stop the climate from changing” advocates say, the issue of global warming, its causes, its extent, its impact and what actions will best mitigate it are far from settled. The U.N. report Mr. Meyer cites reduced the predictions of temperature rise made in the previous one — and that one reduced the predictions of the one previous to it. We have had no warming for almost 20 years now, despite continued increase in carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. In a recent informative and fact-based article in the Wall Street Journal, the former chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at The Georgia Institute of Technology, Judith Curry, opines: “The warming hiatus, combined with assessments that the climate-model sensitivities [to carbon dioxide] are too high, raises serious questions as to whether the climate model projections of 21st-century temperatures are fit for making public-policy decisions.” Ms. Curry’s entire article is well worth reading. It is fact-based and presents the global warming issue in a more balanced perspective that might quell some of the hysteria that surrounds it.

That hysteria drives a “do anything at any cost” approach to observed temperature increases and leads us to make foolish and expensive choices — requiring that ethanol be added to gasoline and the California bullet train come to mind. Neither will have a measurable impact on carbon dioxide levels. Nor has the California (only) “cap and trade” program been the model that the world would follow, as proponents said it would. No one has followed. It is simply another device to take money from the middle and lower classes in this state.

The global warming issue is certainly an important one. It deserves more observation of the facts, more calm and informed discussion, and much less hysteria.

— Russell Buckley, La Mesa resident

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2 Comments

  1. Craig S. Maxwel says:

    Richard’s right. There’s nothing La Mesa, or California, or the U.S., or even the entire “developed” world, for that matter, can do about rising greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional fossil fuels are cheap, and plentiful and the emerging economies of the world mean to use them.
    As for the Sierra Club’s misrepresentation of Ms. Alissio’s stated position, well,…that’s hardly surprising. It was some time ago that the organization sold-out its integrity and fidelity to real environmental concerns for the sake of ideological commitment and political expediency.

  2. Craig S. Maxwel says:

    Read: “Russell’s right…”

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