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WARMING: Trust experts, not politics

| June 9, 2010 10:00 PM

If your doctor told you to stop smoking it wasn’t because he was a Democrat or a Republican.  No, there is substantial evidence linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer, emphysema, heart attack and stroke. Most people don’t change doctors because they don’t like the diagnosis or their doctor’s political preference.  The idea of mixing politics and medicine like that would be preposterous to most of us.  We simply trust the medical evidence behind what our doctor tells us.

The same is true for global warming.  Scientists overwhelmingly report that global warming is real and is primarily driven by our burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.  In fact, 97 percent of climatologists support that conclusion, according to a January 2009 survey by the University of Illinois.  At least 60 major scientific organizations have concluded the same, with not a single reputable scientific body holding an opposing view (a few remain non-commital).

It’s certainly our right not to follow our doctor’s orders and keep on smoking.  We can deny the diagnosis, or rebel against it, to avoid the cure, with few consequences beyond our own lives and loved ones watching us die.  But the stakes are much higher with global warming.  All of life, including all of us, depend on a habitable climate.  Not acting on what experts (not Democrats or Republicans) tell us, before it’s too late, would be tragic.  We can’t tie a rope around melting, mile-thick glaciers.

The “cure” to stop global warming has so many benefits it’s time to act.  Now.

BILL IRVING

Hayden

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