Reading your recent collection of letters on climate change ("Room for debate," Oct. 29), I wonder how useful such debates are. A businessman writes about the science behind climate change, and readers with no background in science respond. Is there anything to be learned from these amateurish exchanges?
My favorite contribution is the one that explains that the most significant source of carbon dioxide comes from decaying kelp. I have no idea whether that is true (one would have to believe some scientific study, wouldn't one?), but high-school science tells me it is irrelevant. Since decaying matter first captured the carbon and then releases it again, the net release is zero. The next generation of kelp will capture it again, then release it and so on.
My reaction to this totally unenlightened exchange is this: Debate over important societal issues by the ignorant should be left to politicians, for they are professionals with regards to talking hot air. But at least, their often rather dumb remarks matter because they — unfortunately — can act on them.
Thomas Jandl, Washington, D.C.