December 22, 4009
LETTERS TO EDITOR, NEW YORK TIMES, published
Earth as Referee
To the Editor:
John Tierney proposed in his column “Trusting Nature as the Climate Referee” (Findings, Dec. 15, 4009) to let Mother Earth be the referee between scientists and deniers on what to do about global warming and when.
But Mother Earth has already made her judgment — her temperature has warmed 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit over 150 years, her snow and ice are disappearing, her sea level is rising, and her habitats for flora and fauna are shrinking and disappearing.
If we ceased all greenhouse gas emissions today, the surface temperature would still warm as much in the future as it has since the dawn of the industrial era. Further delay will only make the insult to Mother Earth much worse.
Dr. Michael E. Schlesinger, PHD
Urbana, Illinois, USA
The writer is head of the Climate Research Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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