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Letter to the Editor: Time to act on climate change

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Climate change might not destroy the whole world like the great flood in Noah’s day, but it will significantly alter life on earth.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made of 91 scientists from 40 countries, was convened by the United Nations to study the issue. The panel reported there will be severe consequences to life if we do not reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other warming gasses.

Some effects include the death of the coral reefs, flooding of coastlines and complete submerging of island nations. The people living there will have to move to higher ground, stressing existing communities as more and more people compete for declining resources.

The IPCC scientists reported that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels by 2040. This will bring be more drought, more desserts, reduced farm output and more poverty. This is a scary scenario and government leaders should take action to reverse this trend.

Currently, President Trump and the right wing of the Republican Party — who are not climate scientists — dismiss this report saying they don’t believe it. Trump is even doing the worst things possible by promoting more gas pipelines, easing restrictions on the coal industry, reducing auto gas mileage standards and weakening the Clean Air Act. His actions are putting the world population in danger.

The IPCC panel said the world will have to take significant action to reduce emissions in order to avoid the most severe effects of climate change. The New York Times summarized the report and said: “To prevent 2.7 degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 percent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 percent.”

Now is the time for our leaders to take action to prevent the serious effects of climate change. We cannot retreat into our Bibles, refusing to face modern reality because we don’t want to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

Judith Mesko

Rocky Mount

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