To The Daily Sun,
No, Russ (Wiles), the sky is not falling but its characteristics are definitely changing. And, I might add, not for the better. What is happening up here will definitely have long-term climatic effects.
Let me list a few:
1. Greater amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere will be and already is skewing the global temperature upward.
2. Cloud formation in the temperate zone, where we live, has tended toward the extreme more frequently than in the recent past.
3. Worldwide crop failures due to drought or flooding are becoming more frequent.
Sadly, the issues concerning climate change have become entangled with our muddled political atmosphere (no pun intended). The climate change elephant is still out there. It's just that some of us fail to see how big and threatening it is.
Public discourse will continue and there is a need to be able to dispassionately assess the evidence. As that is done by intelligent people, the need to contribute to the conversation in a reasonable and informed way is paramount. Never mind the end-of-time rhetoric, lets discuss how adaptation might help us survive the environmental and economic impacts when and if they come to a temperate zone near you.
Most engineers will tell you that you must first identify the problem or problems. Secondly, have all the parties agree to the nature of the problem. At that point, solutions can be suggested. A good first step is always the formulation of the best management practices (BMPs).
At this juncture, science will usually hit the political wall. Public debate should result in intelligent action and or agreement. Such is not the case at the present time. Reaction or denial is prevailing with the help of Russ and others. They fling around terms like "leftist groupthink" and "misinformed alarmist" to cast doubt on those who see the problem and are suggesting management strategies.
So, then, some guiding principles for all concerned both pro and con:
1. Information can be used to identify vulnerabilities and guide us to solutions.
2. Management requires an understanding of the need to merge scientific knowledge and political reality.
3. The problem is international and, therefore, solutions need to be worldwide to be effective.
4. Mitigation can lessen the impact of climate change.
5. Adaptation will help in the sustainability of an environment capable of supporting the human population in reasonably good health.
The attitudes that place a drag on the solutions for this dilemma are legion. Because the changes are slow but steady, the "do nothing" strategy gains a following. Conservatives never want to spend money except, perhaps, to maintain the status quo. They fail to see that conservation applies to things other than saving monetary treasure.
Let me close with a few climate conundrums posed as questions:
1. Is the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere a problem?
2. Is the rising of the worldwide temperature a significant concern?
3. What will be the future impacts of the acidification of the oceans be on marine life?
4. As the sea levels continue to rise due to melting glaciers and ice caps what will be the impact?
If anyone cares to discuss some of the problems cited in a rational way, I am in the phone book. If, however, you only want to shout and cast aspersions, forget my invitation and continue as before with your head in the sand thus making it easier to deny reality as you are unable to see from that position.
- Category: Letters
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