To the editor: Steve Lopez writes effectively about climate change. But I have a question: Why does he feel he must give any ink, screen space or time to the deniers? These people make no valid arguments; there is no need to counter them. It’s time just to stop covering them.
It’s clear the deniers have scientists over a barrel. Of course no ethical scientist will be able to say, “This particular event is a result of climate change.” They have to talk about trends over time. That’s not a powerful way to counter the deniers. But why feel any need, anymore, to counter them? It’s all too clear, and there’s close to unanimous agreement among the ethical scientists. Countering the deniers makes their arguments seem legitimate.
I agree that leading the way on educating, planning and adapting is a moral imperative. But I’m sad that Lopez doesn’t include the word “preventing.” Obviously we are already in it, and we can’t prevent some of the effects of climate change. But are we really ready to stop talking about preventing the worst effects? I say no.
Mary Byrd, Santa Barbara
To the editor: The climate change debate reminds me of my youth, when I did some technical rock climbing.
The decision to use a safety rope was not based on the likelihood of a fall, but instead on the consequences of a fall. If a fall would be a disaster, we would rope up, even though it was inconvenient and a fall was unlikely. It seems the same logic applies to climate change.
Even if there was a lack of scientific consensus, the consequences of failing to respond to climate change would still demand action. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will also reduce other forms of pollution, leading to a large decrease in preventable premature deaths.
If our civilization lasts long enough, we will run out of economically viable fossil fuels. It may be decades or it may be centuries, but the earlier we transition to a low-carbon lifestyle, the greater the benefit to mankind.
Tom Hazelleaf, Seal Beach
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