Reuters, the Associated Press, and MSNBC have recently reported on the Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento at which NASA scientist James Hansen (on right) issued a warning that should alarm all of us.
"I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change ... no longer than a decade at most. If we don't take immediate action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (coal and oil electricity generation and cars whose emissions are not ultra-low temperatures will rise 3.6 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit and we will be producing a different planet."
The conferees agreed that Arctic meltdown, already underway, would cause sea levels to rise enough to put most of Manhattan under water, exacerbate extreme weather events, and make 50% of all the world's species extinct. Why aren't we listening?
Think for a moment of the impact on our Cape and the Islands' coastlines. The famously "pristine" Sound will be greatly enlarged at the expense of a drowned Edgartown and a Cape becoming much smaller.
Conservation lands, bought with the effort and generosity of many,will be submerged. Birds and animals will lose habitat. Fish will be the only winners, unless they have an aversion to tepid water.
Now I ask you, how can opponents of the wind farm and the drivers of low milage/high emission vehicles justify their contributions to a disaster that nearly all climatologists (except those with Exxon-Mobil grants) agree is coming faster than previously projected?
Those politicians who by various means, underhanded or aboveboard, have tried to kill or delay our local contribution to the anti-CO2 movement that is now underway, should announce that they now are in full support of all renewable s, even those that are in their backyards. We voters should withhold our votes from any candidate or incumbent who is willing to doom the planet's future.
The obstructionists are really fossils embracing the past and ignoring the times ahead.
Richard C. Bartlett
EDITOR's NOTE: Read the New York Times archives of facts and articles about Global Warming here including a Video of Dr. James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist, saying the Bush administration tried to stop him from talking about emissions linked to global warming. Also see "Color me green" by Hansen here.