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Climate change not an agenda

I am writing in response to the May 18th article entitled “HAHS science book sparks contention.”

In this article, it is reported that two members of the Hollidaysburg Area School Board object to the inclusion of anthropogenic climate change. This objection was not based on the scientific merit of the textbook, but on grounds of free market ideology.

Board member Lois Kaneshiki exposes this motivation in her reference to “the green agenda.”

This seems to reference a common belief among conservatives that climate change is merely a tool to force draconian regulations on various industries.

The reality is that atmospheric carbon dioxide is nearly proven to cause atmospheric warming. Those familiar with the planet Venus will note that, despite being further from the sun than Mercury, it has the hottest surface temperature of any planet in the solar system.

The reason? Venus has an atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. A greenhouse gas is so-called because its molecules strongly absorb and reemit infrared radiation, the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that induce molecular vibration.

A consequence of this reemission of IR radiation is that other molecules that can now absorb and reemit the IR radiation, the net result being increased kinetic energy of atmospheric molecules, which manifests in an increase in temperature.

As reported recently in The Washington Post, atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has reached 415ppm, the highest concentration in the past million years, a timespan that encompasses the evolution of modern Homo sapiens.

There is an abundance of scientific evidence to support action on climate change, let alone including the science of it in high school textbooks.

Hollidaysburg voters should consider if someone who would deem science an “agenda” should represent them on the school board.

Mark Frank

State College

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