Ignoring climate facts won’t change outcome

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: March 16 2014 | 2:37 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:41 am in

Gary Ellis penned a well-written and seemingly convincing column debunking claims about human-caused climate change (“Global warming debunked,” March 8).

Like Ellis and most everyone else, I wish anthropogenic climate change was not happening, but ignoring the evidence and wishing it away won’t help us prevent the worst outcomes or mitigate the effects that are occurring.

Ellis has strong credentials as an engineer, but that does not make him an expert on climate change; and

97 percent of climate scientists now affirm anthropogenic climate change, caused mainly by our uses of carbon-based energy.

The evidence is so strong that typically cautious scientists are linking climate change to specific weather events such as the so-called polar vortex that has plagued us this winter.

There is no doubt that climate has fluctuated historically, but the rate of change today apparently is unprecedented and is clearly caused by our dumping masses of carbon into the atmosphere.

Just as there have been five great massive extinctions in the past not caused by humans does not mean the sixth that is happening now is not human caused.

If we make the dramatic changes in our energy systems needed to mitigate the worst climate change scenarios, we need not destroy our economy as Ellis fears — that alternative energy future requires research and development of many technologies and systems that could actually revitalize our economy here and around the globe.

Robert Sessions

Iowa City

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