Marc A. Thiessen’s Aug. 23 syndicated column, “Trump’s idea of buying Greenland is far from absurd,” is a poor attempt to justify a bad idea, and does not reflect well on conservatives of his ilk or on the American Enterprise Institute, where Thiessen is a fellow.

Yes, American presidents have made such acquisitions in the past, when the notion of imperialism still had credibility, when many people in the United States had few qualms about buying or selling indigenous people who were living on the real estate in question. Sadly, Thiessen and President Trump are ignoring the fact that civilized nations no longer condone these kinds of acquisitions.

He also refers to the natural resources that the United States could “exploit” were we in possession of Greenland, thanks to global warming, which is opening up new sea lanes through the Arctic. But this kind of thinking only adds fuel to the fire. If we don’t begin to conserve, rather than exploit, resources, much of our planet will be uninhabitable before the end of this century.

Attempting to bolster his argument for exploitation, Thiessen uses the phrase, “unavoidable receding of Arctic sea ice.” “Unavoidable”? We have known about global warming and its impact on Arctic ice for the past 40 years! It is climate change deniers like himself and the president who are undoing efforts to keep that ice intact: by withdrawing from the Paris climate accords, by undoing strict power plant and automobile emission standards, by promoting the leasing of public lands for fracking and through numerous other executive actions.

I understand that this newspaper has an obligation to present a variety of opinions, but I hope readers will see through Thiessen’s unscientific and dangerous views with regard to the catastrophic threats posed by climate change.

Joe Hardy


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