Opinion

Cold weather does not disprove climate change

To the editor:


During the last couple of weeks, some opinion pieces have echoed President Trump?s assertion that our recent frigid whether is proof climate change isn?t real. Unfortunately, these writings convey a complete lack of understanding of the difference between climate and weather.


Among atmospheric scientists, weather is defined as short-term patterns in temperature, precipitation, etc., while climate is the study of much longer-term patterns, usually over decades, even thousands or tens of thousands of years.


Ninety-seven percent of the world?s climate scientists agree that, over the last 150 years, our planet?s climate has been rapidly warming as the result of our use of fossil fuels. This consensus is based on multiple data sources worldwide, including ice-core samples, boreholes, stalagmites, lake sediments, and tree-rings. That there may be localized anomalies like our recent cold temperatures does nothing to change this near unanimous agreement.


Bottom line? Climate change is real, it is dangerous, and we are the cause. The good news is that there is still time for us to avoid its most dire consequences. But, to do so, private industry and government must join forces to quickly hasten our transition to safe, clean, and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Such a mobilization not only will combat climate change, it will create thousands of high-paying jobs and boost both our state and national economies ? a true ?win-win? opportunity.


So let?s get cracking. The well-being of our children, grandchildren, and all future generations is in our hands.