The Washington Post Sunday

We need more alarmism, not less


The Dec. 3 front-page article “GOP falling in line with skeptics on climate” reported that Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said there is too much “alarmism” around climate science.

Really? Tell that to the town of Paradise, Calif. Tell that to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Harvey. Tell them, “Relax. So what? You lost your home. It’s not a big deal. Happens all the time now.”

Arguing whether global warming is man-made is no longer important. Earth is getting warmer. There are more floods, fires, droughts and severe storms. Disease vectors are increasing in number and extent; food yields are decreasing. These are facts based on real numbers and are not a matter of opinion.

We must err on the side of caution. If your loved one collapses with crushing chest pain, should I, as a physician, ignore your call because I don’t believe it? No, you would want me to assume it is an emergency and act accordingl­y. The same should be done for climate change.

If the scientists, against all odds, are wrong about a climate emergency, and we switch to wind and solar, we still stand to gain. Renewable energy yields cheaper electricit­y bills and creates jobs. But if the scientists are correct and we do nothing, civilizati­on and the world as we know it will die.

No, there is not too much alarmism, Mr. Sasse. There is not enough alarmism.

Adeline Louie, Kensington

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