A tip­ping point in opin­ion?

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Re­gard­ing the Oct. 8 front-page ar­ti­cle “Cli­mate change warn­ing is dire”:

Un­less dras­tic and sus­tained ac­tions are taken, we will pass cat­a­strophic tip­ping points. Sadly, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has ir­re­spon­si­bly turned its back on science and cli­mate ac­tion. That will­ful in­ac­tion does not ab­solve the rest of us. The In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change re­port stressed in­di­vid­ual dis­ci­pline and so­ci­etal ac­tion. Two core religious val­ues can sus­tain our ac­tion: pen­i­tence and grat­i­tude — gen­uine re­morse for the havoc and pain we have been party to and have caused and ap­pre­ci­a­tion and rev­er­ence for the beauty, joy and suc­cor we re­ceive from na­ture, with­out our ask­ing for or de­serv­ing it.

There is a pow­er­ful well­spring of rev­er­ence for cre­ation that can mo­bi­lize and sus­tain eco­log­i­cal ac­tion. Peo­ple of the faith com­mu­ni­ties are not alone. We have one an­other. Friends from the Sierra Club, 350.org, Green­peace, Water­keeper Al­liance, River­keeper, the Na­tional Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion and so many oth­ers might not source their rev­er­ence for life and na­ture to a faith tra­di­tion, but they are our sis­ters, broth­ers, el­ders and chil­dren. We have a shared, holy stew­ard­ship and re­spon­si­bil­ity. We must act, in sor­row and in hope. Eric Go­plerud, Re­ston The writer is chair of the Faith Al­liance for Cli­mate Solutions Board of Di­rec­tors.

We need to face facts: Cli­mate change might be hap­pen­ing with all its dire­ness, but no­body cares. The me­dia have done a great job of ex­plain­ing the science sup­port­ing the idea that hu­mans are caus­ing cli­mate change — great! Now what? Does any­one believe we will aban­don the glob­ally in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized eco­nomic and so­cial sys­tems we’ve cre­ated and set aside all our “stuff ” to pre­serve the fu­ture of the planet? That would re­quire a ma­jor change in our DNA, fea­si­ble per­haps as soon as a few mil­lion years.

In­stead of wast­ing valu­able en­ergy in val­i­dat­ing the science of cli­mate change, why not in­vest it in ap­peal­ing to our gi­gan­tic hubris, plant­ing the seed that we should do the im­pos­si­ble: find an­other planet that would sup­port hu­man life and get us there. That would al­low us to keep all our “stuff ” and en­joy global sup­port for get­ting even more “stuff.” We ac­tu­ally might suc­ceed.

Not long be­fore his death, the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing pre­dicted that hu­mans must col­o­nize an­other planet in 100 years or face ex­tinc­tion. He didn’t think we were ca­pa­ble of fix­ing cli­mate change, ei­ther. We’re too stupid and greedy — his words, not mine. Robert Muzzio, Po­tomac Falls

In her Oct. 9 Style col­umn, “Cli­mate is the story, and we’re on dead­line,” Mar­garet Sullivan ac­knowl­edged the dif­fi­culty of main­tain­ing fo­cus amid the end­less pa­rade of more com­pelling sto­ries.

The Post should reg­u­larly pub­lish a graph of at­mo­spheric con­cen­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide over time. We can­not man­age what we do not mea­sure and com­mu­ni­cate. If stock in­dex trends are deemed im­por­tant to print, surely the pa­ram­e­ter on which fu­ture hu­man ex­is­tence most de­pends is, too.

Op-ed ed­i­tors should re­fute the mis­truths writ­ten by opin­ion writ­ers it pub­lishes.

And The Post and its in­formed read­ers should al­ways de­mand rapid and sus­tained ac­tion from gov­ern­ment lead­ers and can­di­dates, par­tic­u­larly in the form of a ris­ing price on car­bon emis­sions.

This is no time to ac­cept the sta­tus quo of ei­ther the world or our own be­hav­ior. Tim Watkins, Sil­ver Spring

We can ei­ther re­duce our green­house-gas emis­sions now or let na­ture re­store the bal­ance its own way through more and more weather-re­lated nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and the col­lapse of the en­vi­ron­ment and food pro­duc­tion, fol­lowed by bil­lions of deaths from star­va­tion and war and the col­lapse of the global econ­omy un­til green­house-gas emis­sions reach an equi­lib­rium with a much smaller hu­man pop­u­la­tion and econ­omy.

Eco­nomics gives us the an­swer. Wil­liam Nord­haus was awarded the No­bel Prize in eco­nomics for his work on the eco­nomics of cli­mate change. The eco­nomic mod­els show that the most ef­fec­tive way to re­duce emis­sions is through a car­bon tax or fee. Rev­enue from the tax could be distributed evenly to each cit­i­zen, used to re­duce our green­house-gas emis­sions or fund re­search into new tech­nolo­gies that can re­duce green­house-gas emis­sions or re­move them from the at­mos­phere. C. Flint Webb, Vi­enna The writer is chair of the Bal­ti­more-Washington Chap­ter and vice chair of the Cli­mate Change Di­vi­sion of the Air & Waste Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.

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