Letter to the Editor

Lowry wrong about Thunberg

On Sept. 26 the Southeast Missourian printed an op-ed piece by Rich Lowry of the National Review, a conservative magazine of news and commentary. Lowry criticized Greta Thunberg, a very young Swedish climate change activist, who spoke recently at the United Nations. In her speech she said that older people had let down her generation.

Although Thunberg spoke about a warming planet, Lowry countered her argument by citing statistics on topics like reduced poverty, increased life expectancy, and improvements in the field of education. In other words, he compared apples to oranges.

For the last 60 years human activity has caused Earth to become warmer. This process has caused harm in the form of more frequent extreme weather events, more intense patterns of rainfall and drought, disrupted ecosystems, and rising sea levels. The warmer our planet gets, the more pronounced these events become.

For individuals such as Lowry and me who were born before 1980, the worst of the future calamities which will be caused by global warming are hypothetical events which will happen after our lifetimes. But for individuals such as Thunberg who were born after 2000, the adverse impact of this warming will happen well within their lifetimes.

This gives a good deal of weight and moral gravity to the requests by the young people who demand the actions needed to reduce emissions by fossil fuels and other measures needed to stop the rise of global warming and the resulting climate change.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau