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Consequences of climate change won’t go away


To the editor:

Don't be fooled into believing the propaganda Senator Blunt sent to the Quill which appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the Saturday, Feb. 20 issue of the paper.

It was an attempt to misinform you about the consequences of recent actions President Biden has taken to address climate change by halting the XL Pipeline, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and banning new leases for gas and oil production on public lands and in public waters.

Blunt cites estimates of job losses that cancelling the XL Pipeline will cost, but ignores other estimates that predict jobs created in renewable energy industries will exceed those lost from the pipeline. Attacking the president's decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement is out of touch with reality.

The whole world, except the U.S., recognizes the necessity of cooperating to address the existential threat posed to civilization by climate change. Only short-sighted self interest can justify disagreeing with that need for action. If we were to lose our recently achieved energy independence, so be it. The solutions are more efficient use of our energy supply so that we will need less and increase the energy sourced from wind and sun.

This pandemic will come to an end eventually. They always have. But the consequences of climate change aren't going to go away. They are going to get worse and are barreling toward us at ever increasing speed because climate is governed by a runaway positive feedback loop.

The warmer it gets, the more factors come into play that accelerate the process. For example, warming oceans melt polar ice caps, exposing more of the ocean to the heating rays of the sun, thereby melting even more ice and exposing more water to the warming of the sun, and so on indefinitely.

Climate scientists estimate that we have only a decade — two at the most — to take action that could mitigate the most severe effects of a warming climate. The steps taken by President Biden are critical first steps in that direction.

If you are 55 or younger, it is almost a guarantee that you will still be here to experience the havoc that climate change will wreak on the planet and all its life forms. It would be prudent to kick in the survival behavior that is instinctive in all of us. Support immediate and drastic action to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

Here are a few examples that will have worldwide effect: more frequent and violent storms, increased flooding, sea-level rise that will inundate cities and farmlands, tens of millions of refugees fleeing unlivable ecosystems, temperature rise that will decrease the yield of rice, corn, and wheat that are essential for feeding the world. There are many more.

Reject Blunt's propaganda for what it is: a last ditch effort to hang on to the fossil-fueled way of life that has brought civilization to the brink of destruction.

Dan Leary



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