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Your Opinion: Response on climate change

Your Opinion: Response on climate change

March 26th, 2011 by Rich George, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

In the Feb. 25 letter headlined "Hypocrisy on climate change," the writer claims that climate change is merely a political issue and that Al Gore and President Obama are hypocrites for their excessive energy consumption. Any shortcomings with respect to their personal energy use doesn't change the validity of their message: greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced.

There is no longer a real debate about the existence or cause of climate change. Scientific principles and real-world events confirm that climate change is happening.

The Arctic ice cap is melting, glaciers are thinning, oceans are more acid and their level is rising, average temperatures are warmer, hurricanes are more powerful, rain forests are drying, and boreal forests are dying - all due mainly to the burning of fossil fuels. Millions of tons of greenhouse gases are emitted daily into the atmosphere. A 100 parts-per-million (only 0.01 percent) increase in carbon dioxide levels has already occurred since the beginning of the industrial age, a further increase will make matters worse.

Personal actions to reduce energy use are commendable, but government regulations are also needed. For example, much of Europe wisely required a substantial fuel tax after the oil embargo of the "70s, thereby ensuring that energy-efficient vehicles and good mass transit are now in place. Europeans' per-capita discharge of greenhouse gases is now only one-half that of Americans'.

The writer refers to 11 Thessalonians, about the perils of "no longer seeking to know the truth." Good advice.

With regard to failure to control greenhouse gases, Paul's warning to the Galatians would also be applicable: we will reap what we sow.