Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
An Aug. 14 letter to the editor got the climate change science timeline completely backwards. I’m guessing an engineering degree and “several science classes” left the writer at a disadvantage to the PhDs around the world dedicating their entire careers to the issue.
The study of global warning came about because scientists noticed several red flags. Ice sheets were melting, ocean temperatures and levels were rising, many habitats were becoming endangered and species were becoming extinct at alarming rates. They launched an investigation into the causes. After many years of study, they found clear and unequivocal evidence that the Earth’s average temperature was rising quicker than should have been expected. They found that, while there might be natural reasons for initiating the temperature rise, the more serious damage was due to the carbon and methane humans were dumping into the atmosphere. People were exacerbating and accelerating the problem. The work was based on using proven scientific methods for tracing cause and effect.
Climate is a complicated phenomenon that takes place over decades and centuries. The impact of even the slightest changes gets amplified over time, potentially becoming catastrophic. Local weather is temporary and not useful in determining what’s going on with the bigger picture. Contrary to our local engineer’s thinking, Arizona’s temperature on any given day is meaningless.
As climate scientists continue to warn of impending permanent damage, the fossil fuel industry digs in to protect its profits. Their target audience is the poorly informed. Should we leave this issue unaddressed when we have an opportunity to take action? Should we ignore increasingly destructive warning signs before we say, “enough is enough”? Or should we spend a night at the Holiday Inn Express and claim we know better than those darn scientists?
The clock is ticking.