Letters to the Editor

Won’t risk ignoring climate change

I believe that the climate change discussion needs to be framed differently.

To begin with, I suggest that we change the terms somewhat so that it does not appear to be such an either/or proposition. We should discuss it in terms of probabilities related to the percentages of climate scientists who are on either side of the discussion. Framed this way we could say that there is a 97 percent chance that climate change is being caused by human activities and a 3 percent chance that it is not, since that is the distribution of scientists on either side of the discussion. I realize that this is not a completely accurate methodology, but I believe that it is much more accurate than suggesting that the odds might be 50-50.

Another way to look at this might be in terms of the consequences. In one case, environmentalists believe that human activity is causing climate change. If they are wrong but we act on that belief by cutting back on the production and release of carbon dioxide, it will cost some businesses and our country a lot of money.

If the climate change deniers are wrong and we change nothing about the way we release carbon dioxide into our atmosphere we will experience more and more severe weather events such as storms and drought coupled with coastal flooding. This could result in portions of our globe becoming uninhabitable.

I don’t believe that we can afford to take that risk.

Bob Hynes