Friday letters: Admit it: Climate change is real

05/09/2014 12:00 AM

05/08/2014 11:14 PM

Charles Krauthammer denounces the intolerance of leftists (“Thought police on patrol,” April 13), but what about the intolerance by persons with a right-wing ideology? All intolerance, from the left or the right, and all efforts to deny free speech should be condemned. Krauthammer cites climate change as an issue where the left is trying to stop debate. He rejects the view that global warming is settled science.

But based on two decades of research, 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists agree that: 1. Climate change is happening, human activity is the cause, and it is going to get worse. 2. We are at risk of abrupt, unpredictable, highly damaging and potentially irreversible changes. 3. The sooner we act, the lower the cost and risk.

Temperatures are going up, spring is arriving earlier, ice sheets are melting, sea levels are rising, heat waves are getting worse as is extreme precipitation, and the oceans are acidifying. This sounds like settled science to me, as well as a dire warning.

As climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer has said: “Unless we stop greenhouse gas pollution (mostly caused by burning coal and oil), we could go over a cliff. We just don’t know where that cliff is.” We buy insurance to protect against fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. We should also act to prevent the disasters caused by global warming and climate change. We can no longer afford to put our heads in the sand like ostriches and pretend that this danger doesn’t exist.

Anthony J. DiStefano


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