Letters to the Editor

Letter: Citizens needed to fight climate change

To the Editor:

Oh my, what cataclysms we are experiencing. Hurricane Harvey floods Houston. Typhoons kill thousands and leave millions homeless in South Asia. Fires burn incessantly in a bone-dry Northwest United States. The Caribbean grieves in the wake of Irma, now Maria. More to follow.

How do these seemingly separate events play in the public debate over climate change?

We’ve heard the cautionary words that no weather event can be blamed singularly on climate change. Don’t be lured into complacency by this. Of course, Earth has seen hurricanes and wildfires before. Still, we know the scientific consensus on climate change points toward more frequent, extreme weather events.

The consensus recently was firmed by results on peer review analysis of published studies that argued against the broader consensus on anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology. In each case, peer scientists using the study data found errors and bias that, when removed or corrected, altered the outcomes of each study. In each case, the corrected results supported that the human era of fossil fuels has caused the sharp rise in average global temperatures – the resulting climate change.

We still can prevent the worst from happening, but time is of the essence: More than 150 years of carbon buildup already is stacked in place. We can face up to reality and mitigate against or prepare better for the next, worse round of storms and drought. The way is clear: Curb the emissions of heat-trapping carbon and methane.

Fortunately, people in key positions are working on climate solutions, although against the tide of this current administration’s laid-bare antagonism. Bipartisan work is being done through the 52-member Congressional Climate Solutions Caucus, which works with our organization, the Citizens Climate Lobby. Twenty-two Republicans have signed on to the separate Republican climate solution, a similar program to our group’s carbon fee and rebate program.  

This is where everyday citizens can help. Join our effort so the people who serve us from local to national offices understand that the voting power points toward taking action, not denying reality.

Jack Shipley

McHenry County Chapter, Citizens Climate Lobby

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