Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Letters: February 20, 2020


February 20, 2020

Climate change

Most of us are aware that rising sea levels due to climate change are threatening coastal cities in the United States, dramatically exemplified by Miami, Fla. Although I am aware that climate change is a grave threat and seems to be accelerating all the time, I must admit to a tiny bit of smugness at living on the Palouse, at our seemingly un-encroach-able elevation of circa 2,500 feet above sea level.

However, my sense of security was shaken recently by the piece “Paradise Creek flirts with flood stage in Moscow” (Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Feb. 8, 2020) that reported that Paradise Creek exceeded flood levels early that day. That, and the local flash floods of April 9-10, 2019, are still in my memory. It turns out that precipitation rather than sea levels threatens us on the Palouse: warmer temperatures on the Palouse will cause more rain rather than snow, more melt of the snow that does fall, and heavy rainfall will become more severe. That means more floods, which are traumatic and costly for families, landowners and the cities.

One ray of hope is a promising piece of legislation, now in the U.S. House, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA). The policy is predicted to reduce emissions by at least 90 percent by 2050 (based on 2016 levels). Check it out at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/ !

Margaret A. Davis

Moscow, ID


As a long-time subscriber to the Gazette (58+ years), I am writing (my first-ever) to commend the Gazette and Lisa Burnett on the editorial in the January 23, 2020, issue.

Mike Leach’s behavior, particularly his public comments directed toward his players, was an embarrassment to the entire WSU community and I am amazed that his superiors tolerated it.

Thank you, Lisa and Gazette staff.

Pat Gill,



I believe that I must respond to the recent letter from Chuck Guptil that you published.

I agree that the weather is cyclic. Our planet has experienced periods of ice ages and drought. In our area we see three different weather patterns―El Nino, La Nina, and Neutral. Yes, the weather patterns have cycled through many different conditions over history. But I urge you not to ignore the current scientific evidence. I know President Donald Trump is putting his head in the sand and denying the global warming. He is being paid millions of dollars by the fossil fuel industry to do so. If you hear a politician denying global warming, I urge you to look at who is funding them.

Some evidence I would like you to consider:

1. 40 percent of the polar ice cap has melted in the last 50 years.

2. The stratosphere jet streams are being redirected and changed in intensity because of the reduced polar ice cap.

3. Billions of gallons of water flow off Greenland every day from melting snow and ice.

4. An iceberg the size of Manhattan calved off the Antarctic icepack within the last two weeks.

5. Because of global warming a new weather phenomenon has evolved that the weather bureau has named a “Bomb Cyclone.” It is a low-pressure area with severe conditions. The United States experienced two such events this winter and one is currently hitting Europe.

6. Increased drought conditions have been experienced in the Western United States and Australia. These drought conditions fuel wildfires.

7. Watch the evening news. There are severe weather reports now almost every night in the United States.

8. The ocean temperature off the coast of Africa is increasing. This is resulting in more tropical depressions each year that travel up the Atlantic and sometimes impact the U.S. as hurricanes.

9. The total carbon dioxide measured at the Mauna Loa weather observatory exceeded 400 ppm. This is the highest in recorded history and is believed to be the highest that has ever occurred when the earth has been populated by man. This observatory is in the Pacific Ocean and thus away from any industrial influence.

10. The sea level has increased such that it is imperiling such communities as Venice, Italy, Manhattan and Miami.

11. The University of Arizona is predicting that 35 percent of all living animal and plant species will be extinct in 50 years due to the warming.

12. The ocean temperatures in the central Pacific has increased 1-2 degrees Centigrade.

I do not want to leave a world like that for my grandchildren. Do you? We must urge our lawmakers to get active to prevent such a catastrophe. We need to wean them off fossil fuel company support. A small action window exists. We do have the technology to build autos, home and industrial furnaces and power plants that do not use fossil fuel. An example of that technology is evidenced by the wind turbines near Rosalia.

Carl M. Ogren,



A few years ago, I attended a workshop on politics in San Francisco. One of the main ideas taken away from that event was the importance of enthusiasm. Washington State has tried to increase voter participation with mail-in stamped ballots, yet the turnout is usually below 50 percent. So, if you are wrestling with your choice of nominee in the upcoming Primary on March 10 and electability is your prime consideration, choose the candidate who is most likely to excite the most number of people, who can attract the largest crowds.

Nancy Street,



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