Commentary

Word and Deeds vs. Rhetoric and Inaction – Trump Delivers

By S. FOX | Dec 05, 2018

A simple response to Bill Bonvie’s negative commentary (“Paradise Lost: Trump’s Deeds More Incendiary Than His Words,” 11/21) regarding our legally elected 45th president and his “controversial tweets” and “deeds” calls for a review of some pertinent facts to provide a better understanding. 

Climate Change: To fully understand this subject, current climate conditions must be viewed in relation to historical trends. Think of it as the last entry on the last page of a never-ending log rather than random statistics about today that will be compared with those of yesterday or last year. And further, unless total belief and acceptance are accorded the literal biblical version of the seven-day period of creationism to the exclusion of all other possibilities, it is necessary to rely on more scientific reasoning as an alternative.

To that end, scientists have theorized, based on years of research, that the Earth was formed some 4.6 to 4.8 billion years ago, enduring cataclysmic forces and extremely wild fluctuations in temperature, from an initial state described as a “hot, sticky, ball of liquid molten rock,” to a time when almost all of the Earth’s surface was covered by water (4.4 billion years ago) to a period when it was pummeled by comets and asteroids (4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago). Five individual periods of glaciation (ice ages) occurred during the last 2.4 billion years, separated by periods of “global warming.” We are currently living in the (Holocene) interglacial global warming period which followed the last (Pleistocene) ice age, which began some 2.6 million years ago. Remnants of the last ice age remain in Greenland and the polar regions.

Scientists have theorized that the sun’s intensity has increased over the millennia. They believe it may have been 25 percent fainter some 3.75 billion years ago. It is reasonable to conclude that the sun’s intensity influences climate.

Measurements have shown the inclination of the Earth’s polar axis shifts slightly over time. This tilting has an effect on areas of the Earth, either increasing or decreasing the intensity of solar exposure and thus altering climate.    

Today, about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and if all of the land mass above sea level were used to fill the ocean floor depths, the Earth’s surface would be water. Tectonic plate shifting, polar ice melting during “global warming” periods and erosion, a never-ending action of moving particles of matter located above sea level to the lowest level possible, all work together to raise sea level. The resulting changes in size – water vs. areas covered by vegetation – cause changes to occur in global temperatures.    

The U.S. represents a mere 6.6 percent of the Earth’s total land mass. To assume that anyone in our government has the power to control which fossil fuels or environmentally unfriendly and air polluting activities are being carried out in the other 93.4 percent of the Earth’s inhabited land areas is exceedingly presumptuous.

The practice of recording temperature measurements and creating a viable record of data is reportedly about 200 years old. That is a virtual grain of sand on the infinitely huge beach of time. The use of this miniscule fragment of recorded data to make comparisons with or reach conclusions about future climatic conditions seems illogical. Even today, the most well-trained weather forecasters using the most sophisticated equipment cannot predict the weather without a fair degree of uncertainty. 

Paradise and Forest Fires: Mr. Bonvie is very critical of the president’s belief that part of the problem relating to the cause of so many severe forest fires was/is poor land and forestry management rather than climate change. It is a fact that where forests exist in nature, so does the potential for fires. They can be caused by lightning strikes, volcanic activity, spontaneous combustion or from careless human activities: campfires, smoking or even by parking an overheated catalytic converter-equipped vehicle in tall, dry, grassy areas.

An article titled “Harvesting Trees Will Prevent Fires,” which appeared in the July 11, 2012, issue of The New York Times, outlines the comments of H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Burnett warned readers that “while forest fires are a natural phenomenon, the size, intensity and harm caused by forest fires over the past decade (2002-2012) were almost entirely influenced by humans, specifically federal mismanagement.” At that time, his research, using U.S. Forest Service estimates, indicated “more than 190 million acres of public land were at risk of catastrophic fires ... including 60% of our National Forests.” The reasons given: “too many trees, too much brush, and bureaucratic lawsuits and regulations.” In addition to clearing out dead/dying trees and brush and using controlled burns, Burnett recommended increasing and expediting logging – “especially in forests where more timber is dead or dying than growing.“

An online article titled “Feel the Burn,” dated Sept. 11, 2015, by Glen Martin, reviewed the thoughts of Scott Stephens. Stephens is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on wildfire science and a professor in California University at Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. He opined that instead of trying to control, monitor or police global “carbon loading,” an impossible responsibility, we should expend greater efforts toward limiting the increasingly popular practice of permitting builders to construct homes and create developments in the more dangerous and risky “interface areas,” where homes closely abut forested areas. Also, because “our forests are as volatile as gasoline due to poor management policies of the past,” he believes aggressive thinning and prescriptive fire programs are necessary to clear out highly combustible material. More importantly, he calculated that we have approximately 30 years to make the necessary changes before we lose the opportunity.

Central American Asylum Seekers: One of the primary responsibilities of our president and government is the protection of our country, our sovereignty, and our safety from those with evil intentions who cross our borders illegally. The potential for serious problems arises when free and unrestricted travel is provided to undocumented illegal aliens, gang members, criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers or the occasional and always worrisome terrorist from questionable countries around the world intent on inflicting death and destruction.

Many asylum seekers lack any birth or health records or identifying documents of any kind, and providing accommodations and the required services and support needed for such a massive crowd of thousands would dramatically increase the workload for our already overloaded and severely backlogged facilities. Fortunately, our president, unlike all those since, and including, President Reagan, who spoke about “border security” but did nothing, has delivered on his promised “words” and has made the “deed” of re-enforcing the border barrier/wall, supporting U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and providing military assistance as required a reality. God bless ICE and those protecting our borders under very difficult circumstances.

Concluding that President Trump, by “word” or “deed,” caused, exacerbated or made more difficult to correct any of the heretofore mentioned, long-standing and thoroughly explored world problems is just folly. However, the very long, record-shattering list of President Trump’s accomplishments or “deeds,” a.k.a. “promises kept” in less than two years in office is proof positive, beyond any doubt, that he is fulfilling his “promises made” commitment to his loyal supporters and continuing to “drain the swamp.”

S. Fox lives in Little Egg Harbor.

 

 

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