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Get the facts on the Paris Agreement

Dear Editor

I will not bother directly addressing the foolish comments of a recent correspondent. I wonder why such ignorance of the state of the climate makes its way in to print. Many major media outlets will no longer carry denials of the science and facts of global warming. It seems that in Durham Region there is a wealth of ignorance that your paper could responsibly help with informing.

The Paris Agreement was made because the whole world is now awake to the reality of the existential threat of that warming. It has seen the unprecedented heatwaves and floods. It is becoming alarmed at the rising oceans: the death spiral of Arctic ice. The loss of two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef as the oceans warm and acidify has caused some anxiety with the added loss of fish sticks that feed a billion people. Rising sea levels that have already caused the evacuation of a few coastal towns in the US., declining food production of certain crops.

War and famines due to the droughts have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and about tens of millions of displaced persons added to the many millions displaced by direct climate damage in places like Bangladesh.  Hundreds of thousands are dying around the world each year from the direct effects.

Global temperature that is now higher than at any time in the past 80,000 years or so is not comforting. Nor is the knowledge that it will be higher than at any time in the past three million years by this century’s end without urgent mitigation. A temperature that led to sea levels 25 metres higher than they now are and to much of the Earth being too hot for human habitation. Northern migration of many species here in Canada should ring alarms. Beavers being the latest to come under notice. And those movements are world wide on land and in the oceans.

The fact that scientists have stated with certainty that just another degree or so of increase in temperature could lead to runaway warming to levels not experienced in tens of millions of years and that the human species could not survive has not escaped notice.

There is much more and the trend is barely started. Extinction of many species has already occurred and humans are not immune to that possibility. It should be sufficient to warn even the diehards off Trump’s madness and attend to the real world before it is too late.

John Peate