Saturday, November 17, 2012

Richard Alley and James Kasting: Global Warming

The following editorial by Richard Alley and James Kasting makes a solid case that we need to begin planning NOW in order to avoid the extreme changes that will otherwise come about due to global warming.   They use the analogy of planning for retirement:  it can be disastrous if we start too late.

The printed version in the Centre Daily Times included a graph that illustrates how average world temperaturs have increased dramatically since the 1980s.  I recall the summer of 1988, when global warming became apparent for the first time to most of the public.   For my generation, 1980 is not very far away, but it is a generation ago.  We've lost a full generation in planning to avoid global warming.  This fall, hurricane Sandy demonstrated what global warming can mean to our highly populated coastal cities.  We are losing time and, while we dally, the energy industry is pushing us toward fracking to get more fossil fuel rather than investing in green energy.

One implication is that we can no longer let short-term profit-seeking interests dominate policy discussions about what is becoming a public safety issue.  Let's get the oil companies out of the policy room and demand that our elected officials do their job with our interests--not private interests--in mind.

We have already lost a generation.  Let's be sure our grandchildren do not look back on us with dismay over our selfishness.
We must move toward a cleaner environment | Opinion |