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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Letter of the Day

Leave doubters behind and face climate change

Published:

It is clear by now that no amount of reason, logic, evidence or scientific consensus will change the minds of the remaining die-hard climate change doubters.

They are determined to cling to their status-quo way of living, no matter how extreme the consequences or poor the risk or reward of doing so.

CO2 at 400 parts per mission and climbing, acidification of the oceans, rising sea levels and disappearing glaciers and mountain-top ice around the world is not enough evidence that our dependence on fossil fuels is disrupting the Earth’s climate.

No, they insist upon indisputable, irrefutable, undeniable proof before acknowledging the need for action. But in a system as large and complex as the planet’s climate, such an airtight case is not just impractical, it is impossible. And that, combined with the potential for life-threatening repercussions from climate change, means we should apply the “beyond a reasonable doubt” approach in assessing the likelihood of humanity’s role. Because the only error we can afford to make is on the side of caution.

Under that standard, no matter how circumstantial one considers the evidence to be, there is only one verdict to render: The burning of fossil fuels is disrupting the climate. Which leads to one conclusion: We can no longer afford to engage the doubters in further debate. It is time to move on without them and take action.

Chip Thomas

Tampa

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