Opinion: When will humans be horrified by climate change? When the media give it the coverage it deserves

Pedestrians walk in a flooded street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, S.C. on Sept. 11.
Pedestrians walk in a flooded street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, S.C. on Sept. 11.
(Mic Smith / Associated Press)

To the editor: We hear a variety of explanations for the American public’s lack of real alarm about climate change: The science requires a fair amount of explanation; the enormity of the effects will become indisputable only at some future date; and economic interests and ideological momentum keep society moving along well-worn paths. (“Why the wiring of our brains makes it hard to stop climate change,” Opinion, Sept. 17)

But we are homo sapiens, the “clever humans” whose technology has transformed our planet. Are we really incapable of recognizing an existential threat and moving quickly enough to avert catastrophe?

Against all the forces that encourage confusion, indecision, and delay, one institution bears the ultimate responsibility for educating the public and sounding the alarm: the media. However, reporting on climate remains lamentably uneven and incomplete.

Every reputable news venue should be providing ongoing coverage of climate science, its implications for our way of life, and a thorough discussion of the pathways out of our predicament.

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim



To the editor: The Bible provides us with the proper response to climate change warnings in Genesis Chapters 39-41.

Joseph ended up in Egypt as a slave, where he supplied empirical evidence that he could accurately interpret dreams (observations). This attracted the ear of the Pharaoh, who asked Joseph to interpret his dream (experiment). Joseph forecast seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine (prediction).

Now, who in their right mind would want to scrimp for seven years in a world of plenty, based on the advice of a foreign slave who interpreted dreams (data)? Well, the Pharaoh for one, and he was the only one who counted. Thus, Egypt made plans for future hardship and survived the seven years of famine.

Who knew the Bible had a parable for climate change in our time? All we need is a Pharaoh who is listening.

Phil Beauchamp, Chino Hills


To the editor: Blaming inaction regarding climate change on human heuristics is a great way to kick the can of responsibility down the road to the next generation. It’s what the baby boomer generation did when faced with evidence of a big hole in the ozone and its threat to human viability in the eighties.

Wait. No, they didn’t. They enacted legislation in cooperation with global countries to regulate the industry responsible for the offending imbalance in the global atmospheric equilibrium. It was the Montreal Protocol, and it worked.

Pam Brennan, Newport Beach

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