Letter-writer Russ Horner downplays the threat posed by human-caused global warming.
I encourage Horner to read Exxon’s 1982 primer titled “CO2 Greenhouse Effect: A Technical Review.” This internal company document is available online and reveals that Exxon accepted the scientific foundation for human-caused climate change more than 35 years ago, along with many of the associated risks, such as the rising of sea levels and decreased agricultural production.
Moreover, in a 1978 presentation to Exxon management, company science advisor J.F. Black warned that an increase in global temperature of two degrees Celsius would be likely to affect the distribution of the world’s rainfall.
According to Black, “Some countries would benefit, but others could have their agricultural output reduced or destroyed.”
These are the types of climate change impacts that world hunger organizations like Bread for the World and Christian Aid are observing today.
Consistent with these concerns, the 2019 World Wide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community states that climate hazards like heat waves, droughts and floods “are increasing water and food insecurity around the world,” heightening the risk of social unrest and migration in places like the Middle East.
Our common values like national security and caring for “the least of these” should unify us on this issue.
It just doesn’t make sense to make the long-term changes to the Earth’s physics and chemistry we are making without looking at this closely together, across political divides, with open ears and open hearts.
Let’s urge our politicians and business leaders to work together and find a path to slow climate change.