Follow us:

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

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►