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Climate change is most important issue PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

Being a journalist, I have seen how issues come to the forefront, and then how people tire of them and move on to another subject. There is an initial frenzy of interest, then editors feel that people have heard enough.

Despite the myriad of new findings, I am concerned that this is becoming the story about climate change. The science is getting more and more clear, but journalists are not continuing to cover the story commensurate with its importance.

We are permanently harming all life on our planet, and all life to come. This is by far “the” most important issue.

Many scientists, such as Sir James Lovelock, warn that billions of people will likely die this century because of the impacts of climate change, unless we make major changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The group Christian Aid found that 185 million people are expected to die from the disease impacts of climate change just in sub-Saharan Africa this century, unless major changes are made.

Climate change is a creeping disaster, as an Alaskan senator described it. But it is also accelerating and unpredictable, as a 2004 Pentagon report on abrupt climate change details. That report, done by defense advisor Andrew Marshall, found that climate change is a much more serious threat than terrorism.

The recent passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by the House of Representatives is the most important step our country has taken to combat the crisis. We must mobilize to pass the act through the senate.

Misinformation, such as claims that the legislation will require homeowners to do an energy audit before they can sell their homes are simply not true according to the National Association of Realtors. The insurance industry and several energy companies are in favor of the legislation, which does not go nearly far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Still, it is a critical step that will create nearly two million jobs and clean up our air, water and landscapes as we transition to clean, renewable energy used far more efficiently, while combating the most serious crisis our species faces: climate change.

Chad Kister
Nelsonville, Ohio

Kister is the author of “Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness;” “Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World’s Largest Wilderness Areas” and “Against All Odds: The Struggle to Save the Ridges.” He is also the producer of the 2006 film, “Caribou People.” Kister’s fourth book, “Arctic Screaming,” is coming out soon, and he is at work on his fifth book about his adventures through the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest old growth forest that is under assault.