Letter to the Editor

Global warming op-ed response

Thursday, December 6, 2018

On Dec. 3, the Southeast Missourian reprinted an op-ed piece from the Investor's Business Daily which advocates the continued use of fossil fuels. It takes the position that the reporting of global warming is so politicized that it doesn't qualify as science. The report says that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change, and it calls the recent Fourth National Climate Assessment fake science.

In making these points, I would submit that the individual who authored this piece of writing overlooked some very significant items.

Since 1900, the world has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important because climate change is a threat multiplier. It touches everything, from our health to our economy to our coasts to our infrastructure. It makes heat waves stronger, heavy precipitation events more frequent, hurricanes more intense, and it nearly doubles the area burned by wildfires.

More than 90 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and that humans are causing it. At least 18 scientific societies in the United States, from the American Geophysical Union to the American Medical Association, have issued official statements recognizing global warming and attributing at least part of it to human activity such as the use of fossil fuels.

Both private industry and government agencies need to move toward the elimination of the use of fossil fuels. Obviously this cannot be done in a short period of time. Therefore, we need to redouble our present efforts to achieve this goal.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau