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Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 31, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Oso mudslide: Echos around the world to come from climate change

When the mountain crashed down on Oso, horror and disbelief gave way to an all-out rescue effort [“In Oso mudslide, signs that warnings may have been missed,” Opinion, March 31]. There is a global message from this local tragedy: Despite warnings and documentation of the danger, homes were built and lives lived in the shadow of impending crisis.

The global disaster awaiting us is well-documented: glaciers crumbling, snowpacks evaporating, sea and air currents disrupted and turbulent. Global warming may be far worse than we can imagine. Yet we live our lives, drive cars and trucks, fly in planes, heat our homes and light our cities, burning age-old carbon in a worldwide bacchanal of fire.

The dozens killed in Oso, and the many more who are displaced and grief-struck, are real and near and need our compassion and support. They are a tiny fraction, however, of the ongoing tragedy worldwide, as the earth, our only home, undergoes a calamitous shift. Multitudes will be displaced, drowned, lost. None will be mere bystanders.

Are there throngs of willing hands and hearts to avert a global Oso? Or shall we wait, as Oso did, for disaster to sweep away all that we have built and love?

Will Rose, Seattle

Comments | More in Snohomish mudslide | Topics: climate change, global warming, mudslide

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