Letter: The most complex problem of our time
Butch Mazzuca’s Jan. 26 column shows that he has added himself to the string section of Nero’s orchestra when it comes to addressing climate change. Don’t like Dr. Robert Davies’ message that there are economic consequences of global warming? Then denigrate the messenger, lumping him with “experts” and that favorite Trumpian target Greta Thunberg. Far better that we should listen to the oil and coal company “experts.” Don’t like the scant progress in meeting targets of the Paris Agreement in reducing greenhouse gases? Just ignore the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of this accord.
That’s OK, the Trump plan will be coming any day now — oh, I forgot: he doesn’t believe climate change is real. Mazzuca mentions “those who are serious about climate change,” but I assume he doesn’t include himself in this group. In the meantime, as a consequence of drought and rising temperatures, an area the size of West Virginia was consumed by wildfires in Australia, 18,000 people were hospitalized in a heatwave in Japan, and rising sea levels in the Pacific are forcing islanders to start looking for new habitation. Don’t worry, Butch — you live in the mountains, you’re safe. By the way, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Florida I’d like to sell you. And, Butch, a retired military guy like you should remember that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have called climate change the greatest strategic problem for the foreseeable future. Time to run that up your chain of command.
It’s clear that climate change will be the most significant problem with which we have to deal in the 21st century, other than blowing ourselves up. The current occupant of the White House has both the temperament and the intellectual capacity of a 6-year-old to deal with the most complex problem of our time. Edmund Burke, the 18th-century British statesman, was quoted in these pages not long ago: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” I guess this holds true for nations as well.