Effects of climate change

Dear Editor: This is in response to the editorial “Americans to Hypocritical Green Activists: You First” written by Michael Barton.

Mr. Barton misses the point. The point of green activism is about saving our world that is facing irreversible climate disaster unless we change our lifestyles. The climate is rapidly changing because we are spewing gigatons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is coming in large part from humans burning massive amounts of oil and coal as well as cutting down forests (which store carbon) in order to raise more cattle, which produce methane, another potent greenhouse gas.

Mr. Barton is trying to distract us from the real issue. He is attacking the character of donors to the climate cause while ignoring the fact that climate change is occurring because of our overuse of fossil fuels. His argument boils down to money, he is weighing the benefits of ever more profits versus the actual survival of ourselves, as well as plants and animals on which we depend, and he comes out favoring money over survival.

When 25% of mammal species are going to be extinct within 30 years at the present rate (three to 10 species are going extinct every day), when climate change becomes so extreme that a massive storm causes the polar vortex winds to change direction so that Denver is 14 degrees below zero at the same that Barrows, Alaska near the North Pole is 35 degrees above zero, this is a climate disaster for plants and animals (as well as humans).

Ninety five percent of California is now in extreme drought. When the wells go dry and there is no rain so you lose your family farm and all the fruit and nut trees that you planted die from lack of water as is happening in California, this is a climate disaster for us.

On Balboa Island in Newport Beach, they are planning for rising sea levels. The Newport Beach Independent newspaper on Oct. 10, 2014 features an article on the front page which states: “A 2012 study by U.S. Geological Survey projected that sea levels along the California coast will rise as much as one foot in just 20 years, two feet by 2050 and five and a half feet by 2100.” When your family’s home along the coast goes under water because of rising sea levels caused by melting ice and warming water, this is a climate disaster.

When massive hurricanes like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina become more frequent and start to eat up the land and destroy our cities, this is a climate disaster.

When enormous wildfires are out of control and burn for months, this is a climate disaster.

I resent Michael Barton’s attacks on Tom Steyer, George Soros and Al Gore, three prominent green activists, because at one time they may have made money from investing in fossil fuels. Mr. Barton implies that green activists are just hypocrites. Attacking their character will not solve our problems.

We should all do our part to save our planet. Personally I can assure Mr. Barton that I and many others are doing our part. We have installed solar panels on our roof, cut back on our use of air conditioning, we drive fuel efficient cars including a Prius, we recycle everything that can be recycled and we take regular trips to hazardous waste roundups with our used batteries, paint, fluorescent lights, etc. Now we need the politicians to pull their weight in passing laws that promote clean energy over fossil fuels. I commend Steyer, Soros and Gore for trying to elect politicians who are not afraid to make tough decisions.

Global climate change is not just the greatest threat to America, it is the greatest threat to our world, the only world we have. There is no backup planet so we must take care of the one we have. We have to reduce the use of fossil fuels immediately to prevent the irreversible destruction of our planet.

Anita Rivero




Published: Nov. 27, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 33