Year 2, Month 2, Day 27: Some Days These Letters Are No Damned Fun At All

I’ve never written to the National Geographic before. Strange, since that magazine was an important part of my childhood and the general growth of my environmental awareness. They ran an article on the Zwiers study which triggered this letter. In addition, I mention the NSIDC report on melting permafrost, which you should not read if you want a good night’s sleep; this is about as bad a piece of news as we’ve had in quite a while, which is really saying something.

Mailed Feb. 18:

The Zwiers study confirms the link between global warming and extreme weather events worldwide, but this is unlikely to change many minds among the climate-change deniers, who are now so ideologically wedded to their position that no amount of evidence will suffice. Especially in light of the recent reports from the National Ice and Snow Data Center indicating rapid and irreversible melting of a majority of the Earth’s permafrost (with consequent release of massive amounts of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere), such a failure of understanding is a tragedy. The next centuries will witness unimaginable disruption of ecosystems, agriculture, and infrastructure; to deny reality at this moment is to lose our last chance of mitigating some of the damage before it overwhelms us. Once, our nation honored scientific achievement and inquiry. Now, it seems, we enshrine delusion and magical thinking, to the detriment of the lives of future generations.

Warren Senders

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