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Letters to the Tribune 4-9

By Staff | Apr 8, 2016

Clean Power Plan: Imaginary Solution to Overhyped Problem

How did it happen that President Obama was able to drum up enough hype, hysteria and hypnosis to declare carbon dioxide as a “dangerous, poisonous pollutant”? Basic earth science tells us CO2 is as important to life on earth as oxygen, nitrogen and water.

The president and his “Political Scientists” believe that the trace gas CO2 is the cause of changes in the weather over time, aka “climate change”. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE denies the weather/climate changes over time. Getting a little scientific, atmospheric gases occur as such: nitrogen is about 780,900 parts per million, oxygen about 209,500 ppm, argon about 9300 ppm and CO2 about 390 ppm. You may say “but I have heard that CO2 is up 35 percent+ since 1870”. Yes, in fact, it is. It has gone from a trace gas of about 290 ppm in 1870 to a trace gas of 390ppm (about 35 percent more) today, but in relation to the entire atmosphere it has increased from 0.029 percent to 0.039 percent – an increase of 0.01 percent. The president and his “Political Scientists” ramble on and on how this 35 percent (actually 0.01 percent) change will lead to a catastrophic end to life on earth as we know it. How I ask with CO2 levels up (their) 35 percent have we not seen the earth’s temperature increase by 35 percent if CO2, by their own proclamation, is so important to “climate change’? Maybe, because CO2 is not in fact the biggest factor

The fact of the matter is, besides the Sun, atmospheric water vapor at levels up to 4 percent. NOT CO2 levels at 0.039 percent, are a much larger and important factor, which is totally ignored when talking about “greenhouse gases” and “atmospheric heat retention”. Believe it or not, the EPA has tried to get industrial water vapor declared a “pollutant” and therefore regulated. I think they came to the conclusion with all the natural rain and evaporation that it would be hard to convince the general public that water vapor is a “pollutant”, so they moved on to CO2 as a viable alternative. They thought they could convince the general public they can control CO2 and save the world by changing the climate. Totally ignoring the fact that water vapor is a much larger factor in atmospheric heat retention than CO2. The president has presented an “imaginary solution” to an overhyped “problem”.

What can we as citizens do? Does it make sense to at a MINIMUM, DOUBLE our electric rates in order to attempt to control CO2, which has a relatively small effect compared to water vapor? The Supreme Court has temporarily put a stay on the Obama Clean Power Plan. But that won’t last forever. We as citizens need to find a way to demand that our “Political Scientists” reexamine the question and solution. They want to continue to say “CO2 is a green-house gas and we therefore need to control it” when in fact the question we need to ask our “political scientists”, “climate change” and “carbon” fanatics, is “What plays a bigger role in atmospheric heat retention: atmospheric water vapor at levels approaching 4 percent or CO2 at levels of 0.039 percent?” The real answer, whether they admit it or not, is water vapor by a factor of 10 to 20+ times and our follow up question needs to be: “Why then do you continue to proclaim and support controlling CO2 as the only and unquestionable solution to “climate change”? Their answer will be: “We have to do something, the public expects action” but will leave out the “even if it’s wrong” part of the answer.

Mark Knudtson,


Support Amtrak

Admittedly, I knew little about Amtrak when I moved to Rugby in the spring of 1995.

When I left the community 15 years later not only did I understand the importance of this cross country transportation service to the community and region, but learned a valuable lesson of the power of persistence.

Through regular correspondence with Amtrak officials and the N.D. Congressional delegation, campaigns to encourage local ticket purchases and steady boarding numbers, Amtrak services in Rugby continued over the years while other communities large and small in North Dakota saw its train services cut or greatly reduced.

If you think about it, it’s remarkable: A town of 3,000 in a rural state had the attention and respect of this federal entity for four-plus decades. That’s a credit to the community and those people who gave their time, and often own expense, to promote and retain these services.

So when I recently learned the Amtrak depot agent position in Rugby, held by Duane Veach, was going to be cut later this spring, I was disappointed. Disappointed that a familiar face would no longer be there to greet people inside the depot and assist with their ticket purchases. Disappointed for those people who worked diligently to keep the depot staffed over the years.

Of course, nothing lasts forever, and the day was going to come when Amtrak would cut Rugby’s depot agent post. No one knew this better than Dale Niewoehner. There was no bigger advocate of Amtrak service for Rugby and the surrounding area. He often corresponded with Amtrak officials, relaying the community’s appreciation for the service. Over the years he developed a close working relationship with many of them. That enabled him to be a voice for Rugby and other small towns Amtrak served. He would keep state and federal lawmakers informed of the continued need for the train’s continual stops. Niewoehner encouraged local residents to take advantage of the service, and promoted Amtrak by helping plan events, such as National Train Day each May.

Even though the day would eventually come when the depot agent position would be cut, it didn’t deter Niewoehner and others from working tirelessly to keep Amtrak services part of the community over the years.

And that is a lesson for us all.

Our continued efforts make a difference and do have an influence on decision makers who may be miles away.

Amtrak’s impact today is just as important as it was in 1972, when that sleek, silver train made its first stop. Rugby and the region is fortunate to remain part of this national transportation service because community-minded individuals stepped forward and saw its importance and value to the area.

National Train Day is approaching. What better opportunity to affirm our support for Amtrak by your presence at this event.

Matt Mullally,


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