Frederick Peterkin: There's nothing we can do about climate change

Carol Browner, the former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, delivers her keynote speech to a audience of UF law school students and environment scientists during a dinner for the 18th annual Public Interest Environmental Conference, Feb. 24, 2012.

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Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.

It was interesting to read the article “Speaker: Environmental ‘disaster’ looms” on pages B1 and B6 of the Saturday, 25 February Gainesville Sun. In the article Carol Browner, former director of the Obama While House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, declares in a speech during the 18th annual Public Interest Environmental Conference that climate change is man-made and under way.

She warns that if we do not heed the warnings of environmentalist we in Florida will lose our beaches from rising sea levels; we will lose our fresh water, and suffer from severe storms, etc. This reminds us of the story in English history when King Canute the Great ( 1016-1035) demonstrated the limits of human/royal power when he, seated in a chair on the beach at the low tide time level, commanded the sea to not rise.

There is also an old saying that “what goes around comes around” and it is a reality that we all refuse to accept. In the far distant past Earth’s orbit was such that the environmental conditions that existed were not what we consider “normal” today. This changing environmental condition is caused by the Earth’s constant shifting orbit and location in the universe and we human beings can do nothing to change it; to speed it up or slow it down.

The disastrous conditions the Carol Browner warns us of have happened before, and will happen again. There is nothing that we can do about it, individually or collectively.

In the distant past Earth has experienced high sea levels in which Florida was submerged. Proof of this has been found, and is demonstrated daily in the creek beds throughout the city. This proof is the shark’s teeth that are found, although not in the number and quantity that there were in the past.

Personally I have undeniable evidence that Gainesville was once submerge under the ocean to the depth that sperm whales swam over this area. This evidence is the seven inch long sperm whale tooth that I uncovered in my backyard (In close proximity to Glen Springs Elementary School) several years ago while excavating to build a swimming pool.

At first I thought that I had discovered a fossilized banana, put it aside and continued building the pool. Several years later to satisfy my curiosity I took the “fossilized banana” to UF’s Museum of Natural History where one of their experts quickly identified it as a fossilized sperm whale tooth. Shark’s teeth and a sperm whale’s tooth are undeniable proof that Gainesville and Florida were once deeply submerged in the ocean in an era when man and carbon exhaust were of no concern and may not even have existed.

Fredrick P. Peterkin,


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