Quantcast

Letter: Prevent climate-change disasters as we would prevent terrorist attack

Published March 30, 2014 10:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former Sen. Ted Kaufman wrote:

"In the months after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney repeatedly invoked the principle that if there's even a 1 percent chance of a terrorist attack, we must prepare as if it were a certainty.

"Can a rational human being who doesn't believe in climate change at least agree there is a remote possibility that 95 percent of climate scientists are right? Maybe a 1 percent chance? If so, shouldn't we prudently prepare 'as if it were a certainty?'"

Since 9/11 the United States has essentially followed this doctrine and thankfully we have not had a repeat of that fateful day. Unfortunately we have largely ignored the impact of climate change, which potentially may have vastly greater consequences. Why?!

Change is tough, and our government, corporations and each of us resist change. We don't take much persuading to go on living as we have. Another barrier to substantial alterations is that there is no enemy to unite against. In fact, we are part of the problem. It is always much more difficult to confront the beams in our own eyes than to find the mote in some distant "enemy," yet we must.

Jared Buhanan-Decker

Murray