Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

The debate goes on. Is climate change for real? Are those who pooh-pooh the idea winning the argument? We have our differing opinions.

The IPCC organization says our efforts to reduce global warming are making progress. The feared consequences of the warming trend are not expected until after the year 2100. Actually steps we take now and before 2025 will determine when we might face extinction.

Extinction due to what? Those who study such matters suggest global heat, crop yields, extreme weather, melting ice caps and rising seas, loss of marine life and disappearing coastal areas to name a few. As extinction levels rise, we fear starvation, suffering, financial loss, migrations, armed conflict. We might have unforeseen consequences in a place like the Arctic. Melting ice might offer a chance for Russia to expand its influence and military bases in Arctic regions. The chance to explore for oil and gas is something attractive to Russia even now. Mr. Putin would like to dominate these areas.

The United States is keenly aware of Russia’s interest in the Arctic resulting in the U.S. upgrading its own military bases in the Aleutian Islands.

With the time left, the United States must prepare and learn to adapt. Other nations must be encouraged to control their fossil fuel levels and reduce carbon emissions. We prepare for the worst for a successful outcome. We must manage our essential resources and not allow pollution and overfishing to cause undue hardship.

The government and businesses are seeking cleaner energy as warming evidence is still unsettled. We know some kind of change must be made because 11 percent of the world’s population is now vulnerable to climate change. Reducing fossil fuel uses is one solution to a growing problem.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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