On Feb. 20, a concerned citizen, Rolf Westgard, had a letter on climate change published in Minnpost. In that letter he made some statements that are misleading. In particular, Westgard claimed that humans exhale carbon dioxide. That is true — but he neglected to state that humans are not a net contributor to carbon dioxide. The carbon we exhale is recycled from the carbon we ingest in our diet. Consequently, human respiration has no impact on atmospheric levels of this gas. Since the industrial revolution, the atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased 40 percent because of fossil fuel burning. This increase has caused the climate change that is being detected and observed worldwide.
Westgard also advocated for nuclear power as a low-carbon source of energy. It certainly meets that goal, but he neglected to tell the readers that nuclear power is amongst the more expensive energy sources. For instance, wind power is less expensive than nuclear, and has obvious advantages in safety and waste disposal.
We certainly have challenges ahead of us at the nexus of climate change and energy production. But we need good information so that we can make smart decisions as we move toward a cleaner, healthier future.
MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor.
The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.