Reader comments on letter writer’s climate concerns
Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022
To the Editor:
A letter to the editor from J. Ronald Winter in the July 27 edition of the Star discusses climate change and sun activity. Mr. Winter is correct in stating that the sun is Earth’s primary energy source. But he seems to confuse the causes of Earth’s seasonal changes with climate change and his perspective on the significance of variations in sun activity is at odds with scientific consensus.
As explained on NASA’s Global Climate Change website, “the current scientific consensus is that long and short-term variations in solar activity play only a very small role in Earth’s climate. Warming from increased levels of human-produced greenhouse gases is actually many times stronger than any effects due to recent variations in solar activity.” For more details see https://climate.nasa.gov/ask-nasa-climate/2910/what-is-the-suns-role-in-climate-change/.
This source further states that if the sun’s activity were to drop to the lowest levels that are reasonably possible based on Earth’s history, our planet would cool by only about 0.3 degrees C. While this would slow down climate change, it would not stop it, and the slow-down would be temporary because drops in sun activity are always followed by increases.
Mr. Winter’s letter also raises important concerns that some individual freedoms may be lost during the process of addressing climate change. Many would agree that the effects on individual freedom should be carefully considered during the development of any policy. This is why it is so critical for our Republican congressmen to stop putting their proverbial heads in the sand and start working with Democrats on policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We need the broad array of concerns of all Americans to be heard to assure that we develop the best approaches for our nation to address climate change.