Weather events have been in the news more frequently this year than any recent year, whether it be record-breaking hurricanes, devastating wildfires or extreme drought.
It appears our global weather patterns are changing, in many cases for the worse. Scientists have linked climate change to these shifts in long-term patterns, yet doubt still remains about the existence of climate change.
By studying ice-cores, tree rings and coral, among other things, scientists have amassed a vast body of evidence in support of the existence of human-caused climate change. In the scientific community, the question is essentially settled, with 97 percent agreement among scientists of its existence.
Unfortunately, every time the link between climate change and more frequent and more severe extreme weather events is brought up, the argument is made that the events are isolated incidents that can’t be used to show a trend; Instead, the extreme weather is attributed to a bad summer, or winter, or spring, or fall.
There’s an obvious problem with waiting to see a trend in this situation, as we will potentially have to suffer through countless devastating weather events in the future, before consensus is reached. The existing trends of evidence and scientific consensus should be sufficient warning for climate action to be taken now.
Practical solutions like the revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby would go a long way in mitigating future damage. Why wait to be hurt further when we can act now to reduce that hurt?
Yining (Tracy) Zhou, Onalaska