Letter: Climate risk doesn’t leave much room for error

Noah Smith, who wrote the column in the Westerly Sun on Wednesday, May 3, “Skeptics assume climate risk is overhyped,” obviously isn’t familiar with Hurricane Sandy — strengthened by climate change — nearly wiping Misquamicut off the map. The storm was many things, but overhyped is not one of them. His analysis should make sense to anyone not afflicted by Upton Sinclair’s profundity: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Too many congressional climate “skeptics,” also known as ‘deniers,’ are funded by the fossil fuel industry whose salary depends on them not understanding it.

Irrespective of climate change threatening life on Earth, consider the upside to fossil fuel replacement: 1) Cleaner air and water that helps human and non-human life everywhere, 2) “Weaken(ed) authoritarian petrostates like Russia and Saudi Arabia” with Iran included and the brewing civil war in Venezuela example A of the effect of falling fossil fuel demand, 3) Economic leadership of the world’s next big industry with 175 countries signing the Paris climate deal all having a renewable energy interest to meet their carbon reduction commitments. The future waits for no one, with electric carmaker Tesla’s market capitalization surpassing General Motors’ on April 10. The public values the future much more than the current Administration, which has appointed climate change “skeptics” to ‘oxyMoronically’ lead the Environmental ‘Destruction’ Agency as well as Energy Secretary, Department of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture.

Bottom line on climate change: You can bet the ranch but do you really want to bet the planet?

Jay Lustgarten Westerly

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