Letter: Recent op-ed was propaganda

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to think that the Reformer was well paid to place the commentary by those hired by the oil industry to debunk the role of human activity in climate change. The two writers of this commentary, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker ("Climate skeptics have valid reasons to question manmade warming," Jan. 10), are well known in the world of the far right wing Heritage Foundation and hate radio host Rush Limbaugh. They are shills for the Kochs and others who have made billions from fossil fuels and other dirty industries. In a terrible flaw in our tax laws, industrialist billionaires are able to anonymously fund this pro-industry think tank through a "non-profit foundation" called Donors Trust (nice bland name.) When they receive the big money from Donors Trust, these same representatives of industry are able to legally call their lobbying group CFACT, a non-profit.

The empirical as well as the scientific facts show that human induced climate change is real, is here, and provides an existential threat to our future. We see this every year in Vermont — we have shorter and later, and less consistently cold winters, a massive outbreak of Lyme disease, threats to our forest ecology, and much hotter and more humid summers.. Rising waters just gave Boston the most severe flooding in its history last week, following the incredible scenes of flooding in Houston in 2017. Wild fires in the west seem to burn 12 months a year now. Glaciers around the world are shrinking, and in some cases, collapsing.

Rothbard and Rucker attempt to create doubt about the truth and cherry pick information from large and detailed reports. Many Vermonters actually spend daily time outdoors in nature — no crafty and creative, half true words can change what we see and feel daily. They can try to cast doubt on the role of the massive increase in CO2 in the atmosphere (a fact even they can't dispute,) in the undeniable temperature increase in the world's climate over the recent past decades. The idea that solar activity is the actor behind these climate changes has not even been on the radar of scientists, except those being funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Bernie Sanders, in the first Democratic debate, represented the people of Vermont when he stated that the greatest problem facing the world is human-made climate disruption.

Please think again about printing an op-ed that is so clearly at odds with science at this crucial time.

Nancy Braus,

Putney, Jan. 10


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