To The Editor:
The Green Team from Zion United Church of Christ in Union wants to express sincere appreciation to the editor of The Missourian for focusing in his Notebook column May 16, on the necessity of “Covering Climate Now.” We thank Mr. Miller for having the courage to acknowledge that news organizations “have allowed themselves to be spun by oil industry PR campaigns” since the 1980s. The coal industry has happily joined the oil industry.
It is important that news organizations now take on their traditional role of informing and educating the public about this topic of climate change as it worsens and we begin to see its real effects on our beautiful world. As we are people of faith, we believe in the creative nature of God and we believe that we have a responsibility to care for His creation. We are grateful to Mr. Miller for his voice.
Over the last 200 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, world population has increased from 1 billion to 7.8 billion. The well-known greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels in that time is worsened by the increasing loss of polar ice and by rising oceans. As oceans reach their maximum ability to absorb carbon dioxide and heat up, the forests that sequester carbon dioxide have been massively reduced. The loss of polar ice decreases the ability of the earth to reflect the sun’s heat rays and speeds up the process of warming. We are in a race against time that we cannot afford to lose.
“Since satellite observation in 1979 … the average monthly September extent of Arctic sea ice has declined by 13.4 percent per decade relative to the average from 1981 to 2010 … The Arctic may be ice-free in summer before the end of this century” (www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/SeaIce/page5.php).
As Arctic, Antarctic, and glacial ice melts, the earth’s oceans will rise. A warmer atmosphere leads to heavier rain fall, more severe storms, but also to more severe droughts wherever they occur. The countries of the world will have to deal with this destructive path of global warming in the same way we are dealing now with COVID-19. No one can see this virus and most citizens can’t observe global warming on a daily basis. But we do have scientists who study these phenomena. They can give us valuable information that we can use for the decisions we make individually and as a country. Let’s listen to these scientists!
Since most of us have not learned much about climate change in school, we suggest reading the book “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” by Robert Hensen or going to the website of North Carolina State University’s Climate Office (www.climate.ncsu.edu/edu/home). This website is set up to teach about the climate and to offer Climate Education Models for teachers.
Norma and Armin
Lee Parks, D.O.,
Sharon and Alan