WE CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE
In a recent letter to IT, Jack Heller argues that it would be a “waste of money” for CWLP to capture heat-trapping greenhouse gases from the Dallman power plant because the earth’s current warming trend is just a natural cycle, and that it would be “arrogant” to think humans can influence the climate because it has changed naturally throughout history.
Yes, the earth’s climate has changed in the past due to natural causes, mostly because of variations in sunlight from tiny wobbles in the earth’s orbit, volcanic activity and the intensity of the sun itself. These natural causes still play a role today, but their influence is too small, or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid global warming seen in the last several decades. Using a fleet of satellites, surface instruments and computer models, climatologists have determined that the rise in average temperatures observed since the second half of the 20th century are primarily driven by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, land-use changes and deforestation.
The evidence that human activities are causing the current global warming is clear and drawn from multiple studies published in peer-reviewed journals. This is why consensus has been reached among the vast majority of the world’s actively publishing climate scientists that the scientific debate over whether today’s warming is human-caused is over, and that nearly every worldwide scientific organization, including the American Meteorological Society and National Academies of Science, has issued a public statement reaching the same conclusion.
For those interested in learning about the causes and effects of global warming, a good place to start is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s global climate change website at climate.nasa.gov.
REMEMBERING THEIR LIVES
I have enjoyed reading the articles about the people in our communities who passed away last year. (See “Remembering the lives they live,” Dec. 27.) Their commitments and contributions were wonderful. So often the dash between birth and death is glossed over. The descriptions of the people in this issue brought them into the hearts of many who never knew them. My condolences to the families and friends who had the honor to be a part of their lives.
Patricia J. Johnson
BEST IS THE ENEMY OF BETTER
I find it ironic that the two teams who played for the 2019 College Football National Championship Game on Monday (Clemson and Alabama) had the two quarterbacks who started in last year’s face-off sitting on the bench for this one. Why? Both teams determined that they could do better than the best they had last year at quarterback, and it has taken them to a higher level.
Wouldn’t it be transforming to have this happen in our national leadership? Don’t some of our national leaders need to “go to the bench”? Maybe, just maybe, it would take our nation to a higher level. As Alabama and Clemson have clearly shown us, sometimes “best” can be the enemy of “better.”