United climate change solution
To the editor:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports 2016 ended up as the warmest year since 1880, with the mean global annual temperature breaking the record that was set the year before in 2015. Since the 2015 mean temperature had broken the record that was set in 2014, last year was the third in a row of record global warmth. In fact, 15 of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.
The great majority of the most qualified scientists in my field of atmospheric and earth science blame the rapid increase of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), resulting from human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century for the observed warming. CO2 and other greenhouse gases tend to trap heat in the lower atmosphere by absorbing terrestrial infrared radiation that would otherwise escape from the Earth. NOAA indicates the atmospheric concentration of CO2 reached 400 parts per million in 2013, the first time this level has been reached in millions of years.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group known as the Climate Solutions Caucus has formed in the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to find market-friendly ways to slow greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The CSC has introduced the Technologies for Energy Security Act (H.R. 1090) to extend tax credits for environmentally-friendly small-scale wind power and geothermal energy as well as the Climate Solutions Commission Act (H.R. 2326) to establish a bi-partisan panel to review and recommend economically-viable actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The CSC is up to 52 members, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. In this era of hyper-partisan acrimony, the formation of this bi-partisan House group to solve a serious problem that crosses party lines and which will impact everyone regardless of political affiliation is a refreshing change.
I urge our Rep Jack Bergman to join the CSC and ask your readers to contact his office and encourage him to become a member. You can write to Rep Bergman at 1500 W. Washington St, Suite 2 Marquette, MI 49855 or call him at 906-273-2227.