Vernon Gray’s letter in the July 17 edition of the Maryland Independent was an interesting collection either of half-formed ideas or of red herrings.
Whether or not his intent was to trivialize concerns about climate change, it comes across that way. Apparently he is not aware of the April 15 statement of his American Meteorological Society which finds: 1) that there has been “a human influence on the climate of the past several decades;” 2) that “the increase in global average surface temperature over the past half-century cannot be fully explained by natural climate variability;” 3) that, in addition to their widespread warming, the oceans — which cover 70% of the Earth — are also becoming more acidic as a result of their absorbing more of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (a process which also decreases absorbed oxygen) with directly adverse impacts on marine life; and 4) that there are three primary greenhouse gases: water vapor (which increases as the atmosphere warms), carbon dioxide and methane. Regarding methane, the AMS finds, contrary to Mr. Gray’s humorous treatment of the subject, human activity such as fracking to be the primary source of such emissions today. The statement lays out the consequences of a continued warming trend, sea level rise and precipitation and heat extremes, affecting ecosystem and human health with accompanying economic consequences.
Even climate change deniers know this is the only planet we have; another location is not currently on offer. We are so besotted with our position at the top of the food chain that we have lost sight of how dependent we are for our survival as a species on interrelationships among life forms on this earth other than our own, interrelationships that evolved over millions of years that we are destroying or altering in the blink of an eye.
Those who choose to believe this is not happening will never find any attempt to address the situation — “Green New Deal” or otherwise — acceptable. Presumably they wouldn’t call the fire department if their attached garage were in flames, on the assumption that the rest of the house wouldn’t burn down if they just ignored it.
Robert Volland, California, Md.