Let’s face climate change together


I want to talk about something scary. It involves increased greenhouse gases, rising sea levels, species extinction, more disease, ocean acidification and many other horrifying realities, all of which should terrify you.

Global climate change is a scary phrase, heard over and over again on the lips of sneering politicians and in news coverage of giant storms. I could use this space to list all the ways in which our home planet will soon become unfamiliar and inhospitable to us, and how we should all turn in our car keys for bike helmets.

I could talk about how climate change works, how carbon dioxide is changing the composition of our atmosphere and how temperature will keep increasing even if we stopped all greenhouse gas emissions today because of the residence time of greenhouse gases. I could say all of this and maybe I would scare you, but that’s not what I want to say.

Global climate change has become a fighting word. It sparks suspicion among some, anger in others, and everywhere it has highly political implications.

This, I believe, is almost as terrifying as climate change itself. It is high time we stopped petty disagreement and looked toward maintaining the only home we’ve got. The scientists who first conducted studies on global warming did not set out with malicious intentions toward big oil companies or the American public.

The entanglement of politics and science was unfortunate and counterproductive, but it’s high time we moved beyond that.

Global climate change is scary. It won’t become less so, and fighting among ourselves will not help.

I shouldn’t need to list a lot of scary things to convince you to do something about climate change. Sometime in the last couple centuries we got in way over our head, and it is up to us now to remedy that.

Even more sobering, our children will have to deal with the hot mess we’ve made, so let’s start doing something. Let’s start listening to the scary predictions of scientists, to the warnings that the climate is giving us, and let’s start thinking of ways we can slow climate change together.

Facing a big problem is a lot less scary with company, so let’s face this challenge together, in unison, rather than continue fighting one another as we drown in the rising oceans.

Hallie Barker

Walla Walla



PearlY says...

Lest we forget: We "got in over our heads" by the unleashing of a stunning level of human creativity and productivity (resulting in an equally stunning population growth) without which Hallie Barker would probably not have existed. So unless you're prepared to argue the world would have been better off without you, go easy on the criticism of our ancestors.

As for the plea that we all put our differences aside and "face this challenge together," I'm reminded of a plaque someone once gave me in my college years, when I thought I knew a whole lot more than I do now: "Just be reasonable: do it my way."

Posted 11 November 2013, 5:37 p.m. Suggest removal

NewInWW says...

"So unless you're prepared to argue the world would have been better off without you, go easy on the criticism of our ancestors." - What an utterly silly, irrelevant and condescending "argument."

You might consider either not posting, or posting a substantive response, rather than this silly - and completely irrelevant - "response."

Posted 12 November 2013, 8:17 a.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

Aren't I lucky you have not yet been designated official censor? Both Hallie Barker and I can post our little nuggets of wisdom or silliness, and you can do nothing about it.

Posted 12 November 2013, 8:41 p.m. Suggest removal

downhillracer says...

Yes, please continue to submit your presumed 'entertainment', whilst clearly demonstrating your excellent gadfly-complain-whine skills. What a waste of time and digital space.

Posted 13 November 2013, 4:23 p.m. Suggest removal

carcrazy says...

Now that's the pot calling the kettle black!

Posted 13 November 2013, 5:50 p.m. Suggest removal

downhillracer says...

Rhiiight. In the last 90 days, I count over 160 'original' comments by the PearlY(white) one, and I've responded to perhaps 1/3 of that. Regular visitors recognize the same 6 representatives of the gadfly-nutjob contingent, as well as the same three folks submitting their whiney-ass ultra-kook letters to the editor. If you really think your changing any minds by showing what you do with your spare time, you're sadly mistaken.

noun: gadfly; plural noun: gadflies1. a fly that bites livestock, esp. a horsefly, warble fly, or botfly.
•an annoying person, esp. one who provokes others into action by criticism.

The definition works on both counts.

Posted 14 November 2013, 12:33 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

downhillracer, I'm honored to share the same sobriquet that Plato applied to Socrates. Many thanks.

Posted 14 November 2013, 2:10 p.m. Suggest removal

downhillracer says...

Boy are you mistaken. Your self-centered self-importance doesn't exist in the same universe as Forms, Ideals, or Ideas. I'm sure there are other nicknames that would apply, none of which are printable.

Posted 14 November 2013, 3:43 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

And yet, you care enough to count my comments and how many you've responded to? If I were inclined toward egotism, that would surely feed it.

Posted 14 November 2013, 4:02 p.m. Suggest removal

downhillracer says...

Only in your mind, sir, only in your mind.

Posted 15 November 2013, 12:42 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...


At the risk of receiving some quality feedback...

Since it is really to do.... I checked up on some others who post here regularly... (my self included) and 160 entries seems about right for more people than Pearly..... But, I quit counting at 160 in three months...

Posted 15 November 2013, 6 p.m. Suggest removal

stvsngltn says...

You are being generous, PearlY .... my initial thought after New's utterly silly and rude comment was how nice it would be if he or she returned from whence he or she came. I'm happy you continue posting your common sense input here along with Namvet and Igor.

Posted 16 November 2013, 11:03 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

That's OK PearlY - As soon as some people learn how to read and comprehend they will be able to understand the wisdom in your comment.

Posted 12 November 2013, 9:34 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

I'm perfectly happy with Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter! Of course they can do away with this stupid Daylight Savings Time. I have yet to save any time on it.

Posted 11 November 2013, 5:59 p.m. Suggest removal

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