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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 23, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Climate change: Better framing and understanding needed to plan mitigation

Four U.S. environmental administrators from the Environmental Protection Agency are “convinced by the overwhelming verdict of scientists that the Earth (is) warming and that we humans (are) the only controllable contributor to this phenomenon,” and “that there is no legitimate debate over man’s contribution” [“Ex-EPA chiefs: Time to act on climate change”, Nation & World, June 19]. “The cost of delay or of doing nothing” is high.

But what is humankind’s current and projected share as a contributor? One hundred percent, 50 percent, 10 percent? And what, then, is the prudent balance, here and in India and China, between both timely prevention — as proposed for energy facilities — and broader contingency preparation for the long term?

An example: in Western Washington, diminished snowmelt, rain and stream flows will call into question the scientifically calculated reliability of our water supply to serve current and future needs. What more will be needed?

Greater balance in framing urgent policy issues, such as EPA’s climate change, might at least help fix our smoke-filled political climate.

Peter D. Beaulieu, Shoreline

Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, environmental protection agency, global warming

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