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  Comments (28) Total Friday Apr. 18, 2014
 
LETTER: Global Warming: Yes, it is That Important
Letter
I empathize with David Tyler’s concerns about the costs of waging war on climate change and the possible impact on low-income earners (Jan. 22 Beacon: “Global Warming: Is It Really That Important?”). However, if we do nothing about climate change and simply kick the can down the road, the costs to us all will be much worse than investing money to solve the problem now. Climate change is likely to have profound impacts on food production so as the problem of climate gets worse, the cost of food will be driven up. And who will be more affected by the increase in food prices than low-income earners? And what about persons displaced from coastal areas due to rising seas? What will the cost be of relocating and/or rebuilding entire cities? These are only a few of the potential catastrophes awaiting us.

The sad reality is we will pay one way or another, either now or later. The problem is that if we wait to deal with the problem later, it may be too late. The worst-case scenario is not palm trees in Montana, as Mr. Tyler envisioned in his letter, but mass extinction of species including our own. And while older folks may never live to see the full extent of these catastrophes, the children of today and tomorrow will be left to face the carnage if the scientific data is correct. I certainly hope I am not of the generation who saw the storm brewing and yet did nothing to try and stop it, even if it means I must sacrifice to do this.

One thing I agree with in Mr. Tyler’s article is that our best shot at solving our problems will come from the march of technology. However, it is important to recognize that the march of modern technology often requires government support and historically most of greatest technological advances have had just that. So why is our government subsidizing fossil fuel when they could be offering subsidies and incentives for renewable energies? And why not have regulations that potentially will slow down the march of climate change while we try and get this problem figured out? Regulations have gone a long way to protect our air quality, our water resources and our environmental safety in the past and present. We need them now to protect our future.

As to concerns that other countries will continue to pollute so why bother, I have two points to make. First of all, we have done more than our fair share of polluting for the past century. As I see it, we owe it to the world to do the responsible thing and work towards undoing the damage we have done. Second of all, why would we hesitate to take on the role of world leader in anything? Why not lead by investment and by example, through humanitarian efforts and through exporting technological innovation, as we have historically done? This would have the potential to bring about a new economic boom, which would be far preferable to environmental and economic collapse.

In the meantime, there are other things our government can do to protect the low-income earner such as raising the minimum wage and tax reform. And perhaps with government help, we will someday have no need to pay for something called gasoline because we will have cars powered by the sun. Let’s hope we have not yet run out of American dreams.

Melissa Hartman
Whitefish
 
On 02-08-14, mooseberryinn commented....
bo - about the same as your shoe size no doubt.  Red Green - OK, I’ll take the rest of the day off.  have a good one.
 
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