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Reader says, 'Unite behind the science on climate change' 

Editor,

Rather than debating climate change and the urgency of actions needed to address it, we should rigorously adhere to the maxim “Unite behind the science.”

Consider the benefits of rational, scientific use of information achieved during the 200 years it’s been deployed. Without science, the human prospect would be harshly constrained by food shortages, disease, and widespread poverty. Enhancing the well-being of billions worldwide would have been impossible.

Today, advanced applications of science enable us to understand vital functions and limitations of systemic, life-sustaining ecosystems. We must intelligently pursue reforms essential to humanity’s long-term interests.

Writers of opinion columns and letters often cast unfounded doubts on the climate crisis, contradicting analysis and predictions made by 97% of the world’s highly-qualified climate scientists.

Such skepticism about the call for climate action resorts to false equivalencies with past problems, including extensive drought during the Depression.

It’s dangerously wrong-headed to urge neglect of the climate crisis simply because certain predictions of geo-physical trends in the past were erroneous. For instance, flawed forecasts of the 1930’s, primarily made by ill-informed observers, couldn’t benefit from the modern use of computer-enhanced analysis of vast quantities of data.

Disregarding future threats based on “gut-level” rationale is pure folly, especially when the implications are so dire.

The longer the delay in taking action, the worse the consequences in the decades ahead – including famine, mass migrations, trillions in property losses, and alarming decline in human health.

To view the climate crisis with appropriate precaution, ponder the overly confident predictions of America’s continuing immunity to foreign threats because no such incidents had previously occurred – until the tragic events of September 11, 2001. 

With the vast scientific evidence of climate disruption at our disposal, ignoring dangerous ongoing trends will bring massive self-inflicted misery.

David Kyler, Co-Director & Co-Founder, Center for a Sustainable Coast
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