In a recent (Oct. 22) letter to Coastal Point, reader Nancy Merritt disputed facts of the Paris Climate Accord. She ended by pointing out that “facts matter,” to which I heartedly agree.
For my facts, I turn to a research paper published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” Vol 115, Number 33, Aug 2018, where top global scientists warn that interacting tipping points add to the potential of dangerous global warming by 2050. The Paris Accord urges temperatures that nations must target to get climate change under control.
But Merritt mentions unidentified studies she claims contradict doomsday models. Perhaps, she says, we may experience only a slight warming, little to no increase in storm intensities, and benign sea-level rise. These reassuring viewpoints do not correspond to a global scientific consensus and ignore threats of tipping points identified in the paper referenced above.
These include the disintegration of the Greenland Ice Sheets, reorganization of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, dieback of the Amazon Rain Forest, shift to a persistent El-Nino Regime, and collapse of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, even leaving out melting of the frozen methane hydrates in Siberia and Canada. The scientists expressed a new concern that tipping points could trigger each other, thus adding to the likelihood of an upcoming climate catastrophe.
As the U.S. government turns its back on the global Paris accord, we contribute to an atmosphere of carelessness that our children and grandchildren will ultimately regret. What we really need to do is for Congress to pass a bill like the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), which reduces emissions from the burning of fossil fuels while stimulating the economy and adding jobs, without placing onerous costs upon our citizens.
Our ongoing presence in the Paris Accords serves in a global leadership role which the current administration has abdicated.