By Jonas Magram, Fairfield
Dear Mr. President:
In a recent tweet, you used our current cold weather to mock climate change science. Apparently, you don’t understand the difference between weather and climate.
Weather refers to local temperatures, precipitation, etc., usually over a period of days or weeks. Climate refers to regional or even global patterns over years, centuries, or millennia. The terms Global Warming and Climate Change describe rising global temperatures and the resultant disruptions to earth’s climate that have occurred since the mid-1800s, when the industrial revolution began.
That the Midwest, less than 1 percent of earth’s surface, should encounter several days of severely cold weather, does not alter the fact that the earth is rapidly warming. In fact, 16 of the hottest 17 years on record have taken place since 2001.
Mr. President, 200 scientific organizations worldwide, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not to mention the U.S. Department of Defense, have concluded that “human-forced” global warming is dangerously altering our planet’s climate, resulting in ever-intensifying storms, floods, droughts, and fires, as well as the spread of disease, and tens of thousands of climate refugees. A recently released report by our own government predicts that these and other significant impacts will reach catastrophic proportions if we do not act immediately and aggressively to reduce our carbon emissions.
I hope this helps clear up your confusion. Oh, and if I may make one suggestion: Surely it would be better for America if you spent less time tweeting and more time working to solve this historic threat to life on our planet. Your grandchildren and mine will be very grateful you did.