I was surprised enough at the statements at the beginning of the letter -- "No one knowledgeable in the field says there has been any global warming in the 21st century" -- to Google the man and his organization.

I leaned it is a group that tries to maintain doubt in the face of increasingly overwhelming data about the damage fossil fuel use has inflicted on the environment. So he has a job to do, and is trying his best to do it.

I trust both ordinary citizens and the representatives they elect are adequately aware of the scientific proof of the damage to our lungs, water and ecosystems caused by continuing efforts to get every last ounce of coal, oil and gas out of the ground.

As for protecting the health and futures of our children by getting the increased supplies of coal, oil and gas he recommends, just ask the kids affected by mountain top removal in the Appalachians and tar sands extraction in Canada.

Maybe "climate change" isn't the only question. Once we have destroyed the life-protecting functions of our land and poisoned our water and air in our greed and haste to get the last bit of money out of the last bit of fossil fuel, does it even matter if the climate is warmer?

It seems to me the path we are on is creating the "perfect storm" of pollution, environmental degradation and violent weather.

Even more heartbreaking is the fact that the energy and science devoted to fossil fuel extraction in the last 20 years could have been spent on truly protecting our health and future through developing renewable energy sources and delivery systems.

Leada Dietz

York City