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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Climate change: Can’t rely on adaptation and ingenuity to solve climate change

I’m sure many people breathed a sigh of relief when they read the guest column on climate change [“The rhetoric of catastrophe around climate change,” Opinion, April 27]. It reinforces the belief that someone will figure out a solution at some point in the future, the problem really isn’t that bad and we can adapt. It even suggests American ingenuity will save the day.

Unfortunately it is the wrong message, based on faulty assumptions, poor examples and a narrow perspective.

Many would disagree with guest columnist Patrick Allitt that we have done a good job of “managing (past) environmental problems.” Think Exxon Valdez, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, Three Mile Island, Hanford nuclear-waste storage, etc.

It usually takes a catastrophe to change our behavior, and even then we can be slow to react. As for hoping dikes will protect us from rising seas, Allitt needs to visit New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.

Even if Allitt were right about humans’ ability to adapt, he has overlooked the other residents of the planet, the plants and animals. Since we have some stewardship responsibility, by almost any account that would seem to be a significant oversight.

Mark Quinn, Washington Wildlife Federation, Olympia

Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, Mark Quinn, Patrick Allitt

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