Climate change science indisputable

To the editor:

In response to the climate-change denials of letter writer Robert Hudson (“Climate change a hoax of global proportions,” July 7), please note that he is following the standard strategy of a lawyer for a guilty client: Bring in anecdotes that prove nothing and cite related but irrelevant factoids.

The fossil fuel industry pursues this strategy, following in the footsteps of the tobacco industry’s cancer-denial “scientists.” The intention is to confuse people and distract us from the essential facts.

The first essential fact is that the physics of greenhouse gases has been known for 150 years and has never been questioned, even by the deniers. The physics is as simple as gravity: Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere traps heat and makes the temperature go up. Period.

The second essential fact is that human civilization is pouring 30 billion to 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels. This has also never been disputed. Carbon dioxide levels stayed below 300 ppm (parts per million) for at least the last 800,000 years (ice core data) — until the last century, when carbon dioxide levels have rocketed to over 400 ppm.

A third essential fact is that “carbon dioxide is forever” on the human timescale. Natural processes will take centuries, maybe millenia, to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is also indisputable.

Please keep these indisputable facts in mind and ignore the distractions issued by the fossil fuel industry. Global temperature will continue to increase at a faster and faster rate, as the process of climate change is a vicious cycle: the hotter it gets, the more factors come into play to accelerate the process. The results will be catastrophic. Rising oceans and growing deserts will destroy trillions of dollars in real estate value and create hundreds of millions of refugees, putting an unimaginable stress on the economy.

We need to act now to minimize the damage. We can save our children and grandchildren from a miserable future if we pursue enlightened policies. Please vote for candidates who understand the danger.

ROBERT McNUTT

Chatham

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