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Letter: Science (And Climate Change) Are Important Topics For Voters

(And Climate Change) Are Important Topics For Voters

Dear Editor,

During the past more than 8 months I’ve been practicing what I preached to the Pastors in my July 01, 2015 letter. I’ve spent several enjoyable hours almost every day more thoroughly informing myself about climate change. My current knowledge of the multiple lines of evidence attesting the reality of man-made global warming allows me to better address the arguments of deniers.

Although I remain open to credible evidence to the contrary, I’m more convinced than ever that we humans are responsible for the unequivocal steady increase in global average temperature since the mid-twentieth century. Widespread burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and cement manufacture continue to increase global atmospheric greenhouse gases. These gases are principally carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, all of which trap heat. This excess heat accumulates in the lower atmosphere from which it is partially absorbed by the oceans and continents causing glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice to melt contributing to sea level rise and ocean acidification.

We humans have quite innocently enjoyed ever increasing quality of life since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. However, our innocence began to wane in 1988 when climate scientist Jim Hansen (currently adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Columbia University) informed the nation in congressional testimony about the reality of human-caused global warming and its dangers to humanity.

The science supporting the heating of the Earth by greenhouse gases has been known for almost 200 years and is straight forward and easy to understand. For those whose job, family and other obligations limit “free” time, I suggest, a website with an excellent 5 minute video explaining the basics. For those with more time and interest, is the website I found during my 8 months of research to best utilize peer-reviewed articles in pertinent scientific journals to address climate-change deniers’ arguments. Of course, I also highly recommend NASA, NOAA and EPA websites.

In a 1944 speech in the House of Commons, Sir Winston Churchill said,

“At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.”

I would emphasize the equal importance of that little voter’s being well informed about the candidates’ positions on the important issues of the day. Based on the science, I submit that Man-made global warming is perhaps the most important issue facing humanity today and well into the future.


Don Burr