Letter: Fouling our own nest
We continue to foul our own nest. I did not see in any newspaper the recent American Geophysical Union position paper on global warming. The headline states: “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.” The first paragraph clearly shapes the problem: “Human activities are changing Earth’s climate. At the global level, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases have increased sharply since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel burning dominates this increase. Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 140 years. Because natural processes cannot quickly remove some of these gases (notably carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, our past, present and future emissions will influence the climate system for millennia.”
Most people have absolutely no idea what this could mean. Get ready for hotter summers, more droughts, more torrential downpours and, worst of all, rising sea levels. We are truly a species that fouls its own nest. And we are kind of stupid, too. We waste time ignoring what world-wide scientists have, repeatedly, told us about how bad our climate will become, ignore what we could do to slow the warming (and save our great grandchildren from a very hot fate), and continue to allow emissions of greenhouse gases (of which carbon dioxide is one) instead of insisting that our politicians take steps to curtail such emissions.