Letter: What will our children say? | PostIndependent.com

Letter: What will our children say?

The last year or two has seen an unprecedented number of U.S. natural disasters: major hurricanes, massive floods, deadly tornadoes, severe wildfires, subzero cold spells, some of the hottest years on record, etc. The rest of the world has likewise suffered increasing droughts, desertification, melting glaciers, typhoons, flooding, heat waves, etc.

These phenomena are not unrelated. The vast majority of climate scientists say they are the beginning effects of “climate disruption” that will, without question, get significantly worse in the foreseeable future. For the next 11 years, according to the latest reports from both the U.N. and the U.S. government, we have the chance to prevent the worst case scenarios from coming to pass by de-carbonizing our economies (and those worst cases are truly frightening — see David Wallace-Wells on YouTube.)

Each additional degree of global warming will make the extreme weather we’ve seen many, many times worse for future generations (as well as creating untold millions of climate refugees). But it can, and must, be turned around, starting now. This is no joke, no hoax, but rather a deadly serious, long-term, life-threatening emergency.

Instead of denial, we need to ask ourselves one serious question: What will our children and grandchildren say about us 30 or 50 years from now? Will they curse us for willfully ignoring the clear signs of the impending destruction of a reasonably livable planet for them? This question requires our active attention.

Chuck Sher

Petaluma, California

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