Fall 2010

Letters | Catalyst Fall 2010


Please email your questions or comments to catalyst@ucsusa.org. Your submission implies permission to publish your letter and name in Catalyst. We reserve the right to edit letters for length.

Climate Science Falling on Deaf Ears?
I admire your optimism in launching your “Weight of the Evidence: Promoting Climate Science for the Public Good” campaign [Summer 2010, p. 7]. However, I fear you are being quixotic. After all, the mainstream press, as well as most radio and TV stations, are owned by corporations. . . . And it’s certainly not in the interests of those powerful entities to let the man on the street know the truth about global warming.

David Quintero
Temple City, CA

The author responds:
To help set the record straight on global warming, UCS experts have appeared on Fox News programs and worked behind the scenes to educate their reporters and editors. But we recognize the likelihood that conservative news outlets including News Corporation (which owns Fox News) will continue to allow their commentators to attack climate science and mislead the public.

The good news is that we’ve been successful in breaking through the media din to showcase the work of climate scientists in print and broadcast venues across the country (see “Newsroom,” p. 5). And we’re also putting pressure on News Corporation by encouraging thousands of our members and activists to email owner Rupert Murdoch directly with the message that his paid commentators have the right to broadcast their opinions, but not to make up their own facts.

Rich Hayes
Deputy Director of Communications


The Promise of Solar Power
I am passing on what I believe is a practicable concept for the problem of the world’s energy requirements: concentrating solar energy. It is flexible so it can be adjusted to keep up with demand as time passes. Without active promotion by the scientific community, however, it will be a political ball to be fought over by the coal/oil barons and those who are interested in the long-term preservation of this nation and the planet we call home.

Don George, Ph.D.
Hattiesburg, MS

UCS responds:
UCS is a strong advocate of policies that promote the use of renewable energy sources—including concentrating solar power (CSP), which uses an array of mirrors to boil liquid and drive a steam-powered turbine. Given the marginal cost and potential scale of CSP development, it could play a promising role in a clean-energy future. According to our research, CSP could provide as much as 6,887 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity by 2030.

One of the biggest challenges to widespread CSP deployment is obtaining the necessary permits to build and operate these facilities. It is also essential to analyze the impacts such large-scale renewable energy deployments could have on water resources (see p. 7) and endangered species.

Laura Wisland, energy analyst
Climate and Energy Program


Get Catalyst hot off the press by joining UCS.  UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students.  When you become a member of UCS, you join more than 75,000 individuals committed to finding solutions to some of the most challenging environmental and global security issues of our time.

Back issues of Catalyst are available in PDF form on the UCS website.