Article from: Denver Post - June 11, 2021
THE OPEN FORUM
Dan Danbom, Denver
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that carbon dioxide levels were above 419 parts per million in May, never this high in our lifetimes.
Climate scientists tell us that anything above 350 ppm will likely result in rising sea levels, more severe droughts, more frequent wildfires, stronger storms, and threats to agriculture resulting in hunger and perhaps famine in some places. The higher the CO2 levels, the more extreme impacts of climate change will be felt.
There are three responses to climate change: mitigation (slow it and stop it by getting off our addiction to fossil fuels), adaptation (continue to pay for the destruction), and suffering. We are going to experience some of all three, but the faster we work on mitigation — reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 — the less adaptation and suffering we will need to experience.
Following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that devastated our eastern seaboard and inflicted $70 billion dollars in damage and killed more than 200 people across eight countries from the Caribbean to Canada, a journalist asked a climate scientist if superstorms like Sandy were to be more common. The scientist replied, “Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet.”
That prescient warning is even truer today. We ignore the science of climate change at our peril, yes, but if we continue to be complacent in response to the NOAA reports and warnings of the urgency and emergency of climate change, we are condemning our children and grandchildren to life on a miserable planet.