Letter: The time for skepticism and denial is past
Now that we have experienced two record-breaking hurricanes in a row (with a third possibly on the way), perhaps it's time our president and his administration begin to take climate science seriously.
Scientists have warned for years that the energy produced by higher ocean temperatures intensifies the strength and ferocity of storms. A warmer atmosphere holds higher amounts of water vapor and results in increased rainfall in these storms. Higher sea levels caused by glacial melting at the poles result in unprecedented storm surges. All of these factors account for the unprecedented flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. And Hurricane Irma was even stronger.
Instead of responding intelligently to the threat, the president has denounced climate change as a hoax dreamed up by the Chinese and has actively thwarted effort by previous administrations to combat climate change. He has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, dismantled measures to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, and requiring public projects in flood-prone areas to take account of rising sea-levels. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently announced his plan to eliminate his department's special envoy for climate change.
The time for skepticism and denial is past. We must call on our leaders to take immediate action to reverse the effects of a rapidly warming planet before the situation becomes completely untenable.
Peacham, Sept. 9
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