Without intervention, man will destroy earth


I enjoyed reading Ted Escobar’s column, published on Aug. 10, and appreciate his point that farmers now and in the past, can cope with hot weather among other difficulties.

Unfortunately, arguing about whether it’s a few degrees hotter this summer in Yakima than decades ago misses a critical point: The earth, averaged across weather stations worldwide and accounting for daily and seasonal fluctuations, is warmer now than any time during the past 2,000 years.

We’re in uncharted territory, with the long-term effects now gradually being felt.

We know that the global increases we’ve seen — and more are coming — will exacerbate droughts, and that moisture evaporated from fields will fuel more intense storms elsewhere.

We also know much of this warming is caused by industrial mankind’s addition of carbon, stored underground for countless millennia, into the air.

Individually we are indeed mere specks, but as a species we add 40 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere each year (that’s more than the weight of 412,000 aircraft carriers).

Most carbon in the form of CO2 accumulates in the air for decades, so our grandkids will still be dealing with the heat it creates.

I agree with Mr. Escobar that - ultimately - Mother Nature is in charge.

One of Mother Nature’s responses is rising sea levels. No, this won’t directly affect Central Washington, but think about the costs our children will bear to help relocate millions of people whose towns and homes will be covered in salt water.

Farmers are tough, resourceful and smart. When faced with a difficult problem, they face it head on, and try to develop practical solutions.

An increasingly angry climate is a huge, global problem, but we can make progress by transitioning away from fossil fuels and encouraging the innovation of non-polluting energy sources that we need to conserve the earth while maintaining our way of life.

Richard Harris



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