LETTER: Students fighting for their futures
Social science professor Frank Clemente's article poking fun at the student fossil fuel divestment movement was wrong on so many levels.
Firstly, Mr. Clemente fails to mention the work he's done for Peabody Coal in the past. Clemente says a few protests in February demanding universities eliminate "life-giving" fossil fuels from their financial holdings were canceled due to bad weather saying "'global warming' gatherings fizzled because it was too cold." Using the "its cold outside so therefore global warming is bunk" argument is ridiculous and shows a lack of understanding of weather vs. climate by Mr. Clemente.
NOAA just recently announced 2015 was the hottest winter (December-February.) on record globally, noting "colder-than-average temperatures across the central to eastern United States" but the "majority of the world's land surfaces, however, were warmer than average, with much-warmer-than average temperatures widespread across Central America, northern and central South America, Australia, most of Africa, and much of Eurasia, including a broad swath that covered most of Russia. In stark contrast to the eastern United States, the western United States was encompassed by record warmth."
As any scientist will point out, the weather outside our window today is not necessarily what's happening globally. This year's starting point at the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska had to be moved again for the second time in race history (the first time in 2003) because of a lack of snow and unusually warm temperatures. The race had to be moved 225 miles to the north.
Much of the Arctic experienced unusually warm temperatures this winter, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center just announced this winter's Arctic sea ice was at the lowest winter levels in the satellite record. At the South Pole, Antarctica just broke record warm temperatures last week for the entire continent — the temperature reaching 63.5 degrees, breaking the previous record 63.3 degrees set the day before — threatening low-lying island nations and coastal regions as the massive Antarctic ice shelves disintegrate.
The young people today protesting universities' investments in fossil fuel holdings that threaten the planet are fighting for their futures. When will we join them in the fight?
Spring Garden Twp.