As a retired university climatology teacher and researcher, I was saddened by the irresponsible editorial by Cal Thomas on March 16 entitled “Apocalypse now?” Thomas simply advertises Marc Morano’s book attempting to deny human-made climate change. The editorial is full of false statements. Here I will deal with just one of these — the statement that the “97 percent consensus” on global warming was “pulled from thin air.” In fact, a current NASA report cites multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals showing that 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree climate-warming trends are extremely likely due to human activities. Most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. If Morano and Thomas can’t get this basic fact correct their other outrageous statements are highly questionable. It is no surprise that Marc Moreno, in 2012, was named “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year.”
Climate Change happens to be one of the most serious problems in the world today. It has already resulted in huge costs due to sea level rise. In addition there is a vast procrastination cost. The longer we wait to address climate change the vastly more expensive it will be.
Most people agree that we should take care not to degrade our planet. It is sacred to us. Also we do not like cheaters and free riders — which is what the fossil fuel industry is when they don’t pay for the harm they do to the atmospheric and oceanic environment. In addition, the cost of climate change to our military is enormous. Our National Security is at stake and most of us support the selfless activities of our service personnel. We should obey when President Trump last December signed the National Defense Authorization Act which ordered a report on “vulnerabilities to military installations” that climate change could cause in the next 20 years.
History will judge harshly merchants of doubt such as Morano and Thomas. At this dangerous point in our history, I believe we should listen to John F. Kennedy’s words from an equally dangerous time: “For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”