Re "What's this global warming 'hiatus'?," Sept. 23
I'm not a climate scientist and will not attempt to argue the interpretation of the data presented in this piece, but I do know what the word "hiatus" means: merely a lapse in continuity — in this case, with the extent of global warming predictions.
This is by no means an excuse to continue burning fossil fuels in lieu of using clean, renewable energy sources. If my doctor told me to
Our most urgent issue today is to convert to a clean-energy economy. That's the big picture.
Medical models have never been completely accurate; there wouldn't be any side effects if they were. And yet the pharmaceutical industry is worth $300 billion a year.
Why do we need climate scientists to be 100% accurate when the evidence is before us (say, rising sea levels threatening towns)? If we wait for climate models to be perfect, we'll be sitting under a foot of water. Why not give these scientists some slack and get on with mitigation and adaptation?
Look, automobiles are simple systems, and mechanics often don't diagnosis our car problems correctly; that doesn't stop us from driving our cars.
Climate is a complex system. And when the going gets really rough, we aren't going to be able to stop something so big by popping a pill or calling up Joe the mechanic. There are going to be side effects, and they aren't going to be comfortable.
Over the last 150 years there has been an alarming rise in the Earth's average global surface temperature. Many years of scientific research and analysis show that this exceptional temperature increase has been driven by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
Worldwide, people are already experiencing the effects of climate change, with rising sea levels, bigger storms, larger floods, extreme heat, longer droughts and huge wildfires.
Scientists have observed a pause in the average temperature increase during the last 15 years. Whatever factors are temporarily moderating the temperature increase, our dangerous influence on the climate is still clear.
We must act now to substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions so our children and grandchildren will inherit a habitable planet.
John D. Kelley