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We know little about the world
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

I have enjoyed and learned much from recent columns including the one on Thursday, Aug. 7. (Dennis Wyatt: “Nature, not man, is in control of our climate.)

I am always astounded how little many of us know about the world — its size and complexity and its history — a very long and complex one. Our planet has been through many, many changes — some very abrupt, huge and destructive. How do we think we can control or predict the behavior of anything worldwide such as the climate? We cannot even accurately predict the weather although we do a much better job than when our forefathers wet a finger and held it up to see which way the wind blew to decide whether it would rain. In my long lifetime, I remember droughts in California, extreme weather around the world and I learned much about the earth during my education and the more you learn, the more you realize you do not know, much less understand! We are still living in the end of the ice age, once ice stood miles high and it is still melting. Once ‘continental’ islands were actually part of continents but as the ice melted, the seas rose and mountains that once were near an ocean found themselves in the ocean! So the ‘rising seas’ we hear so much about is not a new phenomena but one that has been occurring for eons. 

In the 1970s ‘experts’ stated that our world was cooling and we would soon starve because there would be no food, now I am hearing the reverse. Consider the vastness of our world, some of it is below sea level, much of it is above, there are high mountains and deep canyons, there is intense heat and intense cold; 75% or thereabouts of our world is ocean and we do not fully understand it, have not fully explored it and do not yet know its total impact on our various climates. As far as that goes, we have not totally explored our entire world either. How do we even arrive at an ‘average’ temperature that is accurate? 

There is no one climate in the world and there would be no climate without change. Without fire, giant sequoias would not reproduce so if we did not have large forest fires in the past, how did we get sequoias in the present? You are right, tree rings give us a history of our climate and there really is nothing new under the sun. The seas have been rising for eons, so is the earth that once was under these immense glaciers — Scandinavia, for instance, is rising and who knows when it will stop — the pressure of the huge sheets of ice held it down and now that pressure is easing.

 Regarding the homeless in Manteca: It is a problem, I do not know how to resolve it in a humane way — but, I do suggest that any solution be county-wide and a shelter somewhere in the county would take the pressure off the cities where they become an ever-present nuisance and potential danger, especially to women and children. I am sure the farmers would not like that so the location would have to be carefully selected with their comfort in mind. Of course, the transients do not disappear, they must live somewhere and in the past they were simply put in jail overnight and then told to move on. That didn’t work either. But I would like a universal problem treated as our common problem with the county taking the lead with city cooperation and input.

 As for Library Park. a lot of tax dollars were spent and it is a lovely and inviting park but it is impossible to share with the transients if you have children with you. With children you have to pay attention to ‘perceived’ dangers and certainly people who may be on drugs and who foul up the bathrooms are not the environment anyone wants to bring their children into. My husband and I earlier this year rode our bikes to Library Park and brought a picnic lunch with us. A mother with her children was trying to let them play in a corner away from the transients. We sat at a table near them and looked at the lovely murals, the unused water feature, and tried to enjoy our lunch and decided we would not come again nor would we bring our grandchildren there. Most of the tables were being used by men obviously on drugs or engaging in drug deals. Some would walk to nearby cars and then return to the tables.

On water and tunnels or canals: Once the government takes water that is owned by all and puts it into a canal or tunnel, it ceases to be publicly owned and becomes a commodity. I do not want to give government control over something as basic and necessary to life as water. Enough already.

Marie Evans