Time mat­ters in cli­mate change fight

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - PERSPECTIV­E -

I find it in­ter­est­ing that global warm­ing de­niers seem to look at the po­lar vor­tex sit­u­a­tions in Jan­uary and are quite sure that it is proof that the phe­nom­e­non is a hoax. How­ever, when we go through record heat spells, with a full two-thirds of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion af­fected ear­lier this month, they seem to be quiet. For starters, most of us un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween cli­mate and weather, thanks to peo­ple like WGN’s Tom Skilling. I think this also re­flects a lot of the ide­o­log­i­cal shout­ing matches that we seem to have go­ing on. Any­one can pick and choose his or her facts to sup­port a case or po­si­tion. True thinkers look at the en­tire breadth of facts and data and come to clearer con­clu­sions.

In the case of cli­mate change, I ran into an in­ter­est­ing quo­ta­tion from Voltaire. “Men ar­gue; na­ture acts.”

A few months ago, I saw a T-shirt that gave this a 21st-cen­tury spin: “Sci­ence and the earth don’t care what you be­lieve.” For any­one who is for­tu­nate enough to have chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, I think that it is be­com­ing clearer day by day that our world is warm­ing way too quickly, and we des­per­ately need to be­gin to ad­dress our con­tri­bu­tions to the sit­u­a­tion. Our car­bon foot­print needs to be brought un­der con­trol and re­duced now. Time is no longer an ally; it is an en­emy. Let’s all re­solve to leave a won­der­ful, boun­teous earth to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. — Terry Fer­rari, Dyer, In­di­ana

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