Letter to the Editor: Climate change consensus

To the Editor:

It’s hard to know which spurious claim to address in any given Lowell Engle letter, so I threw a dart and went with climate change.

In his letter of November 10, Mr. Engle dismisses the threat posed by climate change, writing, “There is not a meteorologist that I have heard who agrees with that.” Without knowing how many meteorologists Mr. Engle has heard, I decided to check with the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to see if I could get an overview of their opinions.

Right off the bat, the AMS website states: “Climate Change is among the most pressing issues facing the world today.”

They go on, adding: “Humans are causing climate to change and it poses numerous serious risks. The more carbon we emit, the higher the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere will be and the larger the changes in climate we’ll face. Based on our current path, a child who is born today would, at age 30, breathe air with roughly twice as much carbon dioxide as her great-great-grandparents. And yet, we do not know how much carbon we can emit safely and we cannot know in advance when human-caused climate changes will lead to catastrophic societal consequences.”

All of this information is available on the American Meteorological Society website: ametsoc.org.

While I realize that anecdotal evidence - who you heard, what you have seen - carries a disproportionate amount of weight in our minds, I think it is important to champion information literacy, and the idea that better evidence can lead to greater understanding.

Cate St. Clair