Letter to the Editor: Climate deniers more of a threat than terrorists

A couple of weeks ago a Valley Courier letter writer attempted to justify his climate denial by mentioning that some hemp producers inject carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to increase production. Unfortunately in the atmosphere carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas and is much of the reason for the increasing global temperatures. One only has to look at a chart of annual temperatures to see how they have been increasing in just the last few hundred years. Scientists tell us those increasing temperatures are caused by the greenhouse gasses humans are producing. While temperatures have both increased and decreased over the life of our planet, they have never changed in such a short time period as is happening now.

Because of human caused impacts, species are going extinct at more than a thousand times the historic rate. Humans like to forget that we also are a species, and if we make the planet unlivable for other species, we risk making it unlivable for us. UN climate scientists have said that we need to make major changes in the next 10 to 12 years or risk climate changes which we currently do not know how to reverse.

We are seeing that a planet which only in the last 500 or so years has had more than a billion inhabitants, is now expected to support nearly eight billion. And the environmental impacts of those of us living now are far greater than the individual impacts from a person 500 years ago. Some people think that their God finds special favor with humans and would not subject us to the same limitations as other living things, but I’ve not seen any evidence to support that assumption.

I would make the case that climate deniers are more of a threat to society than are terrorists in that climate denial puts all of humanity at risk. When scientists tell us that we only have 10 or 12 years to make major changes, I’m willing to make those major changes. Climate deniers seem to be opposed to any and all changes which the scientific community are calling for. Those in power almost never give up that power voluntarily, and the 1 percent and corporate America have had most of the power over the past 40 years. The changes that are needed to insure a more equitable distribution of power will either be done peacefully through the ballot box, or through violence. My choice would be the ballot box.

Don Thompson