I wholeheartedly agree with one-half of M.D. Harmon’s statements in his June 20 commentary on global warming (“Media won’t tell you, so here are reasons to doubt global warming”).
Unfortunately, the half on which we agree – the unwieldy cost to the world’s economy and the inadequacy of the current proposals to slow global warming – take into account only the very short view, the horizon measured by days remaining in Mr. Harmon’s and my lifetimes, and not those of our children or our children’s children.
I would be loath to call myself a scientist at this point in my career, but as a physician, I talk with my patients every day about risk and choices that they can make in their lives, what to eat, how much to drink, how much to exercise, the pros (and cons) of medical tests and medicines.
The vast majority of scientists are alarmed and in alignment with the belief that our current energy consumption is directly linked to global warming. The media coverage of naysayers is often sensationalized and unfortunately suggests that there is real controversy here. There is not. There is an undeniable cost to our energy-thirsty lifestyle that will be paid at some time by someone.
We have choices to make now. As I cruise down I-95 just above the new speed limit, I wonder, are Mr. Harmon and I ready to begin to pay for this ourselves?
John Erickson, M.D., FACP