Tom Harris deserves credit for accepting as true the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it in his Sept. 16 column, “New report counters climate scare.”
Strong scientific evidence links climate change with rising sea levels and increasing coastal flooding, heat waves and wildfires in the western United States. Unfortunately, Harris ignores the dangers and echoes unreliable sources that dismiss risks from climate change. Rising seas made Sandy’s devastating storm surge even more destructive. We also know that an increased number of and more intense heat waves are a drain on public health.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed at the behest of the Reagan administration and its reports are careful, considered and based on the sound judgment of hundreds of scientists.
The report Harris cites is sponsored by the Heartland Institute to attack mainstream climate science. This is the same group that claimed the campaign against smoking is based on “junk science.” Even ExxonMobil stopped funding Heartland back in 2006, in response to public outcry over the group’s extreme brand of climate contrarianism.
Your readers will be well served to listen to reputable sources such as the IPCC, our own National Academy of Sciences, the forthcoming National Climate Assessment and state scientific agencies that examine the local consequences of a changing climate.
Union of Concerned
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