Letters to the Editor: Recent weather calls for action

To the Journal Editor:

The recent torrential rains and flooding in Texas associated with tropical storm Harvey highlight another threat posed by the warming associated with the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere and why urgent action to reduce these emissions is necessary.

In the increasingly warmer world the majority of the most qualified earth and atmospheric scientists link to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, heavy rain events like Harvey will become more likely. The reason is more water vapor will be present in the warmer atmosphere to fuel the heavy rains and deeper, slower-moving storm systems. Since air must sink and dry around the rising motion associated with these storms, more frequent and persistent droughts are likely to result as well in the areas that miss the heavy rains. Recent severe drought and wildfires plaguing much of the western U.S. as reported in The Mining Journal are consistent with this expectation. The increased costs to society from these weather-related disasters could be catastrophic, as proven by the hundreds of billions of dollars that will be necessary to repair the damage done by Harvey.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group known as the Climate Solutions Caucus has formed in the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to find market-friendly and economically-viable ways to slow greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The 52 members of the CSC include 26 Republicans and Democrats. In this era of hyper-partisan acrimony, the formation of this bipartisan House group to solve a serious problem which will impact everyone regardless of political affiliation is a refreshing change.

I urge Rep Jack Bergman to join the CSC and ask your readers to contact his office and encourage him to become a member. You can write to Rep. Bergman at 1500 W. Washington St, Suite 2 Marquette, MI 49855 or call him at 906-273-2227.