Christopher Flavelle’s Jan. 13 opinion piece, Liberals, stop being jerks about climate change, is correct about the need to be effective in changing behavior to reduce carbon pollution and including stakeholders in policy decisions. However, he is wrong on several fronts.
Climate change is a scientific issue that needs to be addressed. Just because the fossil-fuel industry and right-wing conservatives promote denial, doesn’t mean only liberals are concerned about its impacts.
We don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy. We should educate consumers to be more energy efficient, emphasizing that they can improve the environment and save money. Moreover, expanding clean solar energy creates three times as many jobs as building power plants to meet increased demand for electricity.
Contrary to Flavelle’s findings, many people in South Florida, concerned about the local impact of sea-level rise on our drinking water and on beach erosion, are taking action to address climate change. Globally, as Pope Francis has said, it’s important to understand that climate change is a moral issue when our excessive carbon pollution results in drought and food crises in Africa or floods in India.
John Parker, professor emeritus, Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International