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Letter: Neither climate change nor opioid scares are quite as bad as they seem
06232018 CLIMATE EARTH

We are down to the wire, time to make some hard choices. Unfortunately, the media today can’t even be honest about really important things. If you want to know the truth, you have to find it on your own. Climate change is a good example. 

Our earth has gone through 10 full cycles of hot to cold to hot over the last million years. Climate change is quite natural and undisputed. However, according to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, global warming will wipe out all mankind within 12 years. 

Oh my God! Stop the presses! Run for the hills! Cash in your 401(k) and sing “Auld Lang Syne!” No, she’s not insane, she’s an educated congresswoman. 

“Flooding around the world from climate change has already begun!” How many times have you heard that? Only one problem, it’s not true. So how much is sea level rising? According to Inside Climate News, those crashing waves are growing at the breath-taking rate of 3 millimeters per year. Hmmm. One millimeter is what you clip off your fingernail. Let’s see, there are 2.54 centimeters per inch. So how long to raise say 10 feet and really cause some trouble? Get out your calculator. 10x2.54x12x10/3 cha-ching cha-ching: 1,016 years. 

Maybe someone could build a dike? Most fail to mention that as the ocean grows bigger it absorbs more CO2. As the ice melts, increased vegetation converts more CO2 to oxygen. 

The opioid scare is even worse, because old people like me with bad knees, collapsing back, torn shoulders and constant surgeries are now having a hard time getting pain relief. 

Doctors are terrified. The constant chant is “70,000 deaths per year from opioid addiction!” Some 70,000? Yikes! The problem is, that’s not true either. The number of all overdoses, including illegal drugs, is 70,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control. According to information published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 18, prescription pain killer overdose deaths currently run around 12,000 annually, declining about 2,000 per year. That would mean 58,000 overdose deaths are from other drugs. Where’s the campaign against them? Of course, even one death is too many, but you have to put 12,000 in perspective of our 350,000,000 (documented and undocumented) population, that’s 3.4 deaths per 100,000. Three times that (36,000) are killed in car wrecks. Are all the opioid deaths from addiction? No, with a suicide rate in the U.S. of 15 per 100,000, one must assume that a good number of those deaths are intentional. Let’s see, if I’m old, suffering in the agony of extreme pain, and terminally ill, what are my options: a Colt 45 or a gentle “goodnight.” Which would you chose? 

Steve Ward

Gainesville

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