Sarah Mosko, Santa Ana

You might not know it, given who was recently elected president, but Americans everywhere want their government to tackle climate change. An impressive national survey of over 18,000 adults by The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that in all 50 states a solid majority, 60 to 78 percent, of the public both believe global warming is happening and 66 to 81 percent favored regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant.

A breakdown by individual districts revealed a similar pattern of opinions, even in historically conservative areas like Orange County. For example, here in California’s 49th Congressional District, represented by Darrell Issa, 72 percent of people surveyed said they believe climate change is happening and 74 percent want CO2 regulated as a pollutant. Given that we live in a representative democracy, one should expect Issa’s actions to reflect the opinions of his constituents. It’s not clear that he has in the past, but there are signs he is coming around.

He’s long been an outspoken skeptic of governmental initiatives to slow global warming and even voted in the last Congressional year in favor of repealing rules establishing limits on CO2 emissions from power plants as set by Obama’s Clean Power Plan (S.J. Res. 23 and 24). However, he recently took the bold step of joining the Climate Solutions Caucus, a nascent bipartisan coalition of now 34 House members (evenly split Republican-Democratic) dedicated to solving climate change. Whether or not his razor-thin win to retain his seat last November has anything to do with this apparent shift, he should be applauded for doing the right thing.

Next, he should also step up and co-sponsor the first all-Republican House resolution introduced on March 15 calling for action on climate change.

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comments (4)

  • Well written letter. For those interested in knowing more about climate change we are starting a local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby on May 13 in San Clemente. Register at

  • While I haven’t made up my mind on man’s role in climate change, I am suspicious when its proponents attempt to shut down all debate and declare the issue settled. Well, it isn’t settled for this atmospheric physicist:

  • David, you should spend some time reading and comparing peer reviewed scientific articles from both sides of the argument. Less than three (3) percent question the reality of climate change. When you read those articles, take the time to see who is funding their research. The same thing was done five decades ago to cast doubt on the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

    Take time to read what we know about the causative factors behind the great Permian extinction of 251 million years ago, where roughly 96-percent of all life went extinct. The changes that caused the extinction took place over hundreds of thousands of years. Today, those same changes are occurring, but they are occurring over a period of hundreds of years, not hundreds of thousands of years.

    We are seeing large dead zones were there is insufficient oxygen to support life. We are seeing ocean acidification that is destroying the bottom of the oceanic food chain.

    We have just experienced a six year severe to exceptional drought, and it is not over yet. Yes, the recent heavy rains recharged our reservoirs, but the vast majority of the rain did nothing more than cause flooding and mudslides on its way to the ocean. We still have an approximate 11 trillion gallon water deficit as a result of the drought because we have drained the majority of our aquifers.

    And then there is the issue of sea-level rise. As our oceans warm, they expand. Glaciers melt and collapse, and the same is happening to the giant ice-sheets of Greenland and the East and Western ice-sheets of Antarctica. As they collapse a significant rise in sea-level occurs. It is already occurring. Take a trip to Miami, Norfolk, or the islands of the Pacific, like Tuvalu.

    Do I trust Issa. No. It will take more than joining the climate caucus or co-sponsoring a climate protection bill. For now, I will just cross my fingers and hope.

    • Clarification: add “in our oceans” and replace “were” with “where” in paragraph 3 after “large dead zones.”–i.e. We are seeing large dead zones in our oceans where . . . ,

comments (4)

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