While it might be tempting to conclude from particular local or regional weather events that climate change is the cause or that climate change cannot be happening, in so doing we lose sight of the undeniable and inexorable accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, altering the heat balance of the Earth and committing our global home to centuries of unstoppable rising sea level, dwindling summer snowmelt and more destructive storms.
We can choose to dismiss the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and continue to burn fossil carbon, or we can accept the overwhelming consensus of the world's best climate scientists and take responsibility for the future climate by putting a price on carbon that accounts for not only its impacts on climate (flooded coastlines, parched farmland, devastating hurricanes) but also the cost of military access to Middle East oil and the cost of health care and life insurance for coal miners.
These costs are not being paid by consumers. We can return all of the revenue from such a carbon tax back to the people and let the market, not the government, decide the best substitutes. See citizensclimatelobby.org for details.
STEVEN GHAN, Richland