Climate change is scientific fact and America could lead with research

To the Editor:

President Trump has called ‘Climate change a Chinese Hoax’ (Tweet by President Trump November 6, 2012; Trump’s tweet said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”)

Mr. Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator stated “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Now they are working to reverse requirements to reduce CO2 emissions in the name of economic growth and returning jobs to coal miners.

While I appreciate that stopping job loss and increasing economic growth in our country is critical to reducing the increasing economic disparities that have grown over the past 30 years among the working and upper classes I can’t help but be distressed by the current Republican approach to our changing climate.

What I find most surprising is the rejection of scientific evidence of the fact that climate change is real. While most scientists believe man-made activities that increase CO2 emissions contribute to this change, many Republicans seem to embrace the view that this connection is overblown or untrue.

I find it interesting that initial ideas like ‘carbon use tax’ and ‘carbon cap and trade’ were first put forward by President Reagan and other Republicans to deal with ozone depletion problems that affected the environment. America led the world in recognizing the problem and finding replacement chemicals that would be safer for the world to use.

It seems to me that most reasonable people would accept that climate change is occurring and that man-made activities are contributing to this climate change to some degree.

Climate change will lead to massive population shifts throughout the world as sea levels rise leading to political instability. The economic costs to coastal cities throughout our country are now front page articles in Boston, New York and Miami and will grow as actions are taken to protect them from more severe flooding. There will be 100 year floods and storms throughout the country more frequently.

My question is, why aren’t Republicans advocating for policies that reduce CO2 emissions and for supporting research and industries that would allow our country to lead the world in re-engineering our dependence of fossil fuels to more renewable sources of energy?

Unchecked, climate change will cause tragedies as it impacts where we can live, what we can grow and what happens to our environment. I would hope that both political parties can find a compromise that will move our country forward in responding to this crisis.

Richard B. Friedman, MD