To the Editor:
Having addressed my first scientific conference on climate change in 1971, I have kept in close touch with advances in our scientific understanding of the very real challenges we face.
Not the least of these challenges is people who refuse to take science seriously and deny, based on their own profound understanding of the world, that there is anything to worry about.
Even I admit there is much we still don’t know. Yes, global warming is caused by human activity. Yes, in order to prevent future climate disasters, including our inability to grow enough food, we should be deeply into programs both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, as importantly, to re-sequester carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the soil. We are miles behind on both counts. President Donald Trump is only partly responsible. We were behind before he was ever on the political radar.
What we are still mostly guessing about is how bad is it going to get and how quickly? Scientifically informed projections range from just bad costing billions including millions of premature deaths in the next 50 years, to calamitous involving global economic collapse and billions of premature deaths in the next 25 years. No one really knows. We only know that climate change is happening faster than we once expected.
Contact your congressional representatives and senators and tell them you aren’t willing to play “chicken” with climate change. Ask them to support a “carbon fee and dividend” policy and, in the next farm bill, “carbon sequestration.”
Donovan C. Wilkin