Letters to the Editor: We ignored Al Gore in 2000. We’re paying the price of climate denial

People watch the Ottauquechee River rise after extreme rainfall in Quechee, Vt., on July 10.
(Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe )

To the editor: Wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, abhorrent heat, ocean temperatures rising to unheard of amounts — this is not the “new abnormal,” but most likely the “new normal.” (“Fires, floods, heatwaves. Is the extreme weather from coast to coast ‘a new abnormal’?” July 12)

Twenty-three years ago, Al Gore, then running for president, pointed to scientific reports that predicted all of this. Millions of us heard it but chose to disregard it or not believe it.

It’s hard to believe that many in this country are still in climate-change denial or at least pretend to be. And why is that? Because as Gore said, it is an “inconvenient truth.”


Linda Cooper, Studio City


To the editor: There’s been buzz about the beginning of a new geological epoch caused by human activity for more than 20 years, but it now appears to be on the way to becoming official — the Anthropocene began between 1950 and 1954.

However, a 2015 study published in Nature says the Anthropocene probably began around 1610, with the exchange of species between continents.

Previous epochs began and ended owing to factors including meteorite strikes, sustained volcanic eruptions, the shifting of the continents and climate change. Now human activity has driven Earth into a new epoch. We’re very clever but haven’t been very wise.

We’re finally wising up. Can we stop burning fossil fuels and changing Earth’s climate and atmosphere? Can we can stop depleting groundwater and changing Earth’s geology? Can we can stop driving the species we depend on to extinction?

Maybe. It’s theoretically possible, but can we overcome human nature?

Carol Steinhart, Madison, Wis.