If Gary Wechter (“Climate change nonsense,” July 3) held an advanced degree in any physical science, he would know that arguments for or against climate change must be based on observable/physical evidence. This is what the scientific community is using when it tells us, unequivocally, that global warming is occurring due to increased atmospheric CO2 levels and, as a result, our climate patterns have already changed. The isotopic signature of this excess atmospheric CO2 identifies it as emissions from burned fossil fuel. Further, scientists know this warming will continue to increase, due to the physical/chemical nature of our planet, unless we significantly decrease the amount of CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere.
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are approximately 34 percent higher now than at any time during the 800,000 years prior to the industrial revolution. Scientists, in attempting to predict future outcomes, are using sophisticated computer modeling programs to understand the impacts of increasing levels of CO2 concentration on the various systems of our planet. So far, the predicted changes have occurred faster than scientists anticipated.
We must take aggressive steps to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions as quickly and as steeply as we possibly can. Independent analysis, economists, and business leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program (C-FAD) would significantly lower CO2 emissions, increase employment, cushion the economic impact of transitioning to renewable energy production, and provide incentives to other countries to also institute C-FADs. We must elect lawmakers who acknowledge climate change and will support a C-FAD program. Consider making this your No. 1 voting issue in 2014 and 2016. Your grandchildren will thank you.
-- Sharon Rippner - San Luis Obispo