Climate deniers need to wake up

Oct 03, 2013

Editor:

Adam Vaughan reports on six thing learned from the IPCC report in today’s Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-climate-report-six-things-learned).  His headings:

• Scientists are more certain than ever that humanity is to blame for rising temperatures.

• Concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased to levels that are unprecedented in at least 800,000 years.

• We're likely to surpass rises of 2C by 2100, the threshold of warming that governments have pledged to hold temperatures to, and beyond which dangerous consequences including drought, floods and storms are expected. • Sea level rises are coming.

• Sea level rises are coming.

• Scientists said claims that the rate of temperature rises in the last 15 years has slowed did not affect the big picture, and temperatures are going up in the long-term.

• The amount of carbon the world can burn without heading for dangerous levels of warming is far less than the amount of fossil fuels left in the ground

Further articles in the same Guardian (9/27/13) in clued “Climate change: how hot will it get in my lifetime?” and “Climate change likely to turn UK's weather more extreme.”

One can almost hear the deniers gearing up to discredit the report, but let me ask two questions yet again:

1) Given that the predictions are so dire and the possible negative consequences so enormous, should we not proceed with caution, preparing for the worst and trying to avert it?

2) Why the sheer passion of the deniers?  When they seem to so often to rely on denigrating their opponents (“eco-fascists” “greenies”) and slandering their opinions (“hoax” “scam”) might it not be safe to conclude that their stance is based more on emotion and reluctance to face issues, than on a sensible, cautious view of potential dangers we face?

Nathaniel Read Brown

Edmonds

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