It is always wise to plan for the worst-case scenarios in relationship to environmental concerns and there are obvious issues. We have seen record air pollution in London and Paris. China and India continue to show increased emissions of CO2 and particulates. This letter is not one of discouragement, however.
The U.S. continues to show improvement in both particulate and CO2 emissions. The air quality in Los Angeles is far better now than when I went to college, despite a dramatic increase in population. The waters and streams are in better condition than when I was in college. I walked on “tin can” beach as a youth and now the same beach is clean white sand. Most are not aware that the seas have been rising slowly and inexorably since the last ice age. This is not a new phenomenon. The hysterical predictions about an acceleration of the rising oceans have been spectacularly wrong. The Arctic is not ice free. Greenland is still covered with ice. Manhattan is not underwater, all of which were predicted. According to NOAA, there has not been an increase in the rate of the rise in the last 27-plus years. The current rate is about 3 mm a year. Measuring the rate of increase is very difficult but if the current trends continue it is predicted that the rise will be 4-12 inches in the next 100 years.
I feel strongly that we should not soil our nest and as the world’s population continues to grow, avoiding adverse environmental consequences will be increasingly difficult. We should all do our part as individuals and countries, but we also have to avoid throwing things out of perspective.
San Juan Island