Guest columnist Patrick Allitt has pointed out that threats posed by nuclear war, overpopulation-caused famine, pollution and resource exhaustion have not, yet, turned out to be as catastrophic as many people thought [“The rhetoric of catastrophe around climate change,” Opinion, April 27]. Based on that fact, he seems to be telling us that too big an issue is being made of climate change.
Allitt seems to have missed the critical point that we have, thus far, dodged those bullets largely because “prophecies of doom” (his exaggerated term) by scientists and academics gave governments, businesses and people the incentive to take mitigating actions.
And he really went off the rails by contending that dodging those bullets should make us complacent about climate change because “wealthy and technically advanced societies like the U.S. can adapt.” The U.S. may be able to “adapt,” but at what cost to the quality of our lives? Instead of “adapt,” Allitt should have used the word “survive.” Do we really want to “live safely at or below sea level?” And should the great majority of the people on earth who live in societies not so “technically advanced” just be disregarded?
Ted Yellman, Bellevue