Letter to the Editor

Dire predictions were wrong

In the mid-1970s I took an environmental issues course at Southeast Missouri State University. Some of the topics were global cooling, overpopulation and food shortages, natural gas reserves of only 10 years, oil reserves of only 20 years, nuclear fuel reserves of only 50 years and coal reserves of 100 years.

Theorists were also concerned that PCBs would cause many deaths from cancer and that acid rain would kill forests in the East.

None of these concerns came to fruition. My company at the time, Missouri Utilities, removed all of the PCBs and most of the sulfur dioxide sources at huge costs. I am not aware of anyone quantifying the cost benefits. I am sure there were none.

For the last 10 or 15 years there have been claims that man's use of energy is warming the planet and it will kill us all. Considering the track record of earlier predictions, it is only natural to view the most recent ones with skepticism and put the burden of proof on the claimants.

We are seeing arguments both for and against global warming. Neither argument offers any proof. The political solution is to place a tax on energy production driving up costs.

We have nothing to lose by letting the market determine the best sources of energy.

ROBERT WAGNER, Cape Girardeau