A tipping point in opinion?
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.