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— Jennifer Massey, San Clemente 

After living near the beach in San Clemente for 38 years, this summer we added air conditioning to our home because of new temperatures reaching in the high 90s.

The outlook for the future of the planet is truly terrifying, and we owe it to future generations to address the climate change issue.

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About The Author Capo Dispatch

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  • The link between CO2 and the Earth’s temperature was made in the 1820s by Joseph Fourier who first realized that the atmosphere is heated from above and below: first, by sunlight as it shines through and second by the infrared the Earth emits as it cools overnight. John Tyndall demonstrated in 1859 that some gases block infrared radiation, and noted that changes in the concentration of the gases could bring climate change. It was Svante Arrhenius, however, who in 1886 —132 years ago — was first to calculate the extent to which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will increase Earth’s surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. Arguably, Arrhenius is the father of climate change science.

    On August 14, 1912, a newspaper called the Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette printed a prescient paragraph in its “science notes and news” section, warning that the Earth’s atmosphere was changing because of the way the world’s economies were ramping up production of fossil fuels. Notably “Coal consumption affecting climate,” the small headline read. That was our second warming, 106 years ago.

    In 1988, 30 years ago Dr. James Hansen, a NASA climate scientist gave a Senate committee a dire warning: the Earth’s temperature was rising, and humans were to blame. Three warnings over the past 132 years, and we have done virtually nothing to stop the catastrophe being created by global warming.
    An now the United Nation’s “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” has published a new report which outlines the need for “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, stating we only have 12 years to effect this change.

    12 years to effect major changes; impossible you say. No its not, all we need is the political will. We’ve done it before, we can do it again. Within two months of the Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor, the last civilian cars rolled off the assembly lines, and auto plants converted to military-only production of arms, munitions, trucks, tanks and planes. In the next four years we split the atom and created the most destructive weapon in human history. We can save the world again if we put our minds together and work together.

    It’s up to each of us to decide. Is OUR future worth saving for future generations?

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