Better farming needed?

We applaud Mr. Baird’s (April 23 letter) concern for bats being affected by white nose syndrome. However, we are perplexed by his statement that “global warming is a hoax.” The overwhelming measurable facts are that CO2 is above historic levels at 400 ppm and well on its way to doubling by 2050. The level of CO2 is directly related to climate change.

The bat problem like the bee collapse may be linked to our agriculture practices (i.e., overuse of chemicals and destruction of biodiversity).

National Geographic’s (May 2014) lead article, “The New Food Revolution” by Jonathan Foley, starts “Agriculture is among the greatest contributors to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains and airplanes combined … Farming is the thirstiest user of our precious water supplies and a major polluter … Agriculture also accelerates the loss of biodiversity.”

Therefore the solution to the bat and bee crisis may call for better farming methods which in turn would help lessen Mr. Baird’s “global warming hoax.”

Jane and Price Watts

Traverse City

Can’t make up own facts

Just what teachers and students need in their schools - a yahoo with a large gun on his hip marching through the halls.

Andy Marek, a Grand Traverse County Commission candidate, declared in a recent Record-Eagle article that “Most shootings happen in schools …” He is, of course, dead wrong, as are the right-wing websites and radio hosts that spew such inaccurate information.

Here are the real facts, unvarnished by emotion and talk radio: Since 1980, 297 people have died in U.S. school shootings, or about nine per year, a figure that has remained more or less constant throughout our country’s history (FactCheck.org).

In that same period of time, over 1,100,000 people have died from gunshot wounds outside of schools according to the Centers for Disease Control. These include suicides and accidental deaths. If one extrapolates the number of homicides caused by guns since 1980, one would arrive at a figure of about 275,000, or 8,590 per year.

Ultra conservatives have a right to their own opinion, of course, but they do not have the right, no matter how many times they try, to make up their own facts to fit their peculiar philosophy. That is called lying.

Gary S. Powell

Traverse City

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