The recent marches in support of science, and the changes in national policy, have renewed the contentious political debate about climate change (NCJ Daily, April 20). We need to stop arguing whether climate change is real, and start focusing on its many economic and social impacts that are now happening, and will continue in the future.
All the scientific studies over the past 30 years have predicted extreme changes in weather patterns, which go far beyond just record global heat, melting icecaps, and rising sea levels. Here in Humboldt County, U.S. Highway 101 south has been closed for over a week due to a massive landslide. Routes north and east have fared no better this winter. We're coming out of years of drought with record rainfall causing the earth to "breathe" with landslides and other land movements.
These road closures are more than just travel inconveniences. The reduced flow of goods and materials in and out has had a large impact on businesses, our lives and our overall economy. Huge repair costs affect all Californians. This is just one miniscule "climate disaster," with more extremes predicted to come. Every community across the globe is facing and will continue to face the impacts from increasing record rainfall and flooding, record cold and snowfall, record heat and droughts, record tornados and winds, crop failures, forest destruction, recreation and tourism decline, and the cost of shoring up infrastructure. These impacts are not going away, and in the "debate," nobody has proved otherwise.
I challenge the scientific community, the media, and the informed public to start connecting the dots, and vigorously begin to educate our politicians and citizenry. The costs are too high to ignore.
Mike Manetas, McKinleyville