- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Anyone who considers geology even casually knows that the climate on this planet has changed; 12,000 years ago, it was very different than it is now.
There is no question in most peopleís minds that the climate is currently changing, getting warmer. The numbers are clear.
We have had the warmest years, average temperature for 12 months, recently. The last 10 years have been the warmest on record and show that the planet is warming. There are a lot of explanations for this.
It is a complex process involving factors across the seas and continents.
Why the temperature is rising is not entirely clear in its totality.
However, there is no question that there is an increase in various greenhouse gases. Some of those are due to burning hydrocarbons and producing, as a byproduct of the energy we want, carbon in various forms, chiefly carbon dioxide. Some of that is due to our automobiles, more due to producing electricity, chiefly from coal.
There are things that can be done to lower the production of greenhouse gases. We know what those are. The question is whether we think it is important enough to do those things. Many people feel that it is not worth the expense. There are people who feel the current level of clean water and clean air is not worth the expense.
Clearly, there are people who feel that our impact on the climate is so small as to be negligible. The science doesnít support that view.
We can make up our own science, but there is no question in the majority of the scientific community that people are making the climate worse, due to many things (the methane cows produce is just one of many greenhouse gas creators). The question is not whether we should kill all the cows, stop driving, stop using electricity.
The question is whether it is worth some effort (I donít know how much and how expensive) to reduce the greenhouse gases that we do control to reduce the amount of change the climate is going through.
Scientists say that the result of climate change is an increase in the sea level and more violent storms. The storms are clearly much worse recently. While we have escaped many hurricanes in the United States, the ferocity of hurricanes and typhoons across the world is clearly worse.
Itís a complex planet; we donít experience the same things every year. But the planet is experiencing these things all the time. We got Superstorm Sandy this year; we got historic snowstorms two years ago.
I donít understand why all the evidence doesnít mean something to more people to result in it being an issue that we, as a people, want to solve.
William Wetmore, Waldorf