This is a response to David Powell’s Saturday, April 22 letter to the editor, “Man-made global warming is nonsense, a hoax.”
Let’s compare you to our planet:
Suppose, over a period of 60 years, you developed some wrinkles, maybe a gray hair or two (within those that remain). Maybe you’ve put on a few pounds and don’t enjoy staying up until 2 a.m. every night. You can fight this natural process with plastic surgery, vitamins, and creams and whine, but don’t expect anyone to be very concerned.
Now, suppose, in one night, you as a 20-year-old develop all those symptoms? Might you think something was wrong?
The data on those previous ice ages and warming trends you mention indicate that changes took place gradually, over thousands of years, not observable in your lifetime.
If you believe the data that there was ever climate change, then presumably the data about the time periods involved is accurate. Scientists measure ice cores, rock cores and plant data. Likewise, scientists have measured and watched changes that are recent enough to be observed; we’ve seen glaciers disappear, for instance.
Comparing thousands of years of change to what has happened within the decades since the Industrial Age went into full swing — a blink of the eye in geological time (or overnight for that aged 20-year old) — is like comparing the natural aging of an 80-year-old to the overnight aging of a 20-year-old.
So I ask you, might this not indicate a problem? If you were the wrinkled, grey and overweight 20-year-old, would you want help? Might our planet need help?