Letter to the Editor

Researching climate change

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Oct. 22 Letter to the Editor concerning greenhouse gases and the "climate change crowd" would benefit from some factual research to dispel its misinformation.

I suggest that readers review James Boulter's Iowa Public Policy Report, "An Uncertain Future: The Outlook for Iowa Communities and flooding as our climate changes" which was published in September.

Jim's well-documented report has an outstanding section on climate modeling, and states:

"Furthermore, an overwhelming majority Ė 97 percent of scientists across many disciplines studying a wide variety of topics related to the climate, agree that the changes in Earth's climate that we have observed and that are predicted are directly attributable to human actions. Stated another way, there is a clear consensus that climate change is primarily caused by changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and from changing land-use practices, methane from oil and gas extraction and livestock production, nitrous oxide from agricultural practices, synthetic fluorine-containing gases like Freon, and changes in atmospheric particles including carbon soot and other pollutants."

Greenhouse gases are being contributed by ALL of us. Some of us are working hard to diminish our carbon footprint.

Weather and climate affect us all, but farmers and ranchers in the North Central Plains, and elsewhere, are living the reality of the brunt of increasingly adverse weather, and more inhospitable growing conditions. Tariffs and low commodity prices add yet more uncertainty to food production, as the pursuit of agricultural livelihoods become even more difficult.

Some of today's farming pioneers are wisely transitioning to more conservation farming (cover crops, no-till, rotational grazing, carbon sequestration, etc.), but human enterprises donít just turn on a dime in spite of good intentions.

If we continue on our present trajectory, the life support systems on which we all depend may cease to exist.†

If we continue to neglect responsibility by disregarding the effects of our human activities on our life support systems, our neighbors and future generations, we risk hardship at best, and at worst, extinction.

We need to intelligently work together to find solutions and make informed decisions.

Roger R. Patocka

Citizens Climate Lobby Iowa Great Lakes Co-Leader