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Letter: Our planet is warming; let’s help stop it

Posted: June 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Lynn Plambeck’s column in The Signal was spot-on: Our planet is warming — and warming fast — and those who deny this scientific fact are doing a terrible disservice to future generations.

Whether the phenomenon of global warming is caused primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases or by other factors, repeated scientific studies by the very best climatologists in the world have shown that these emissions contribute to the process. Consequently, since we know that human activity is responsible for at least some portion of the warming problem, it seems to me that the only sensible and moral action to take is to make every reasonable effort to stem mankind’s contribution to it.

The U.S., led by a growing list of climate-change deniers in Congress, is effectively holding back international efforts to do at least something to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and thus, it’s hoped, soften the long-term effects of the problem.

A personal example of the effects of a warming atmosphere: Back in Ohio, where I came from, we had a crabapple tree in our front yard for 35 years. I planted it myself. It always bloomed beautifully just in time for Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, each year for the first 25 or so years we had it.

But starting about 10 years back, it began to bloom earlier and earlier. When I left Ohio two years ago, it was blooming 10 to 14 days earlier than before — during the last week in April — instead.

Indeed, forest studies in the U.S. show that northern tree species are retreating very quickly, while southern species move steadily northward to take their place. That is global warming in action — observable and happening right now.

And if you don’t believe me, next time you’re up in Alaska, ask the first polar bear you meet about the situation up there — if you can still find one.


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