Letter to the Editor

Connect dots on global warming

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Generating both compassion and concern, news of the severe weather pummeling suffered by our midsection has spread nationwide. However, lest we fail to learn, amid our sympathy we should connect the dots.

Evidence from around the planet leaves no reasonable doubt that substantial global warming has occurred over the last century, especially the last few decades. Furthermore, that atmospheric gases contribute to a livable global temperature has been accepted since first reported 150 years ago. Additionally, that our addition of atmospheric greenhouse pollution has contributed to recent global warming is a matter of clear scientific consensus.

For many years climate scientists have predicted increasing severe weather as a result of climate change. In addition to the obvious droughts and wildfires induced by warming, predictions included more weather variability, with more intense storms, floods, hurricanes, and tornado seasons. Regrettable as these events are, they provide further evidence supporting the consensus that human-induced climate change is happening.

It is important to understand why we have failed to address this problem. The primary culprit is a campaign of lies and misinformation funded by multinational energy corporations. The campaign has been so successful that voters have failed to elect representatives who will address the problem. Instead, we now have a Congress composed of a majority that rejects science and places the nation and the planet on a path toward ecological disaster.

The pattern of disasters underlines our need to prepare for future disasters and minimize their severity by reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

ALAN JOURNET, Ashland, Ore.