Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Scientist's Emotional Turmoil

University of Lethbridge professor, James Byrne, writes in the Edmonton Journal, that climate change fuels many emotions:

As a climate change research scientist, I was recently asked to share how I feel about the subject on a website featuring climate researchers from around the world.

So how do I feel?

Afraid: For my grandchildren, for my family, for people. That keeps me awake at night.

Angry: Fossil fuels cause terrible pollution and climate warming that lead to millions of deaths every year, and many millions sickened. We have better options.

Frustrated: With complacency. Parents who would leap between a bear or lion and a child — live in ignorance, confusion or, at best, fear. Leap into the climate debate, mom and dad.

Sadness: Many have been hurt, many more will be. Rapid action on climate change will save many lives and prevent enormous property losses globally, and in your town.

Bewildered: Almost all the weather extremes are becoming more extreme due to a warmer atmosphere. Why is that hard to understand?

Nervous anticipation: Listen to the science, or to nature. The latter will speak louder, with random and terrible viciousness — storms, heat waves, drought, floods and pollution — all causing pain and suffering.

Excitement: We have the plans, policies and technology to fix this. We can have great lives with clean, safe renewable energy. Please help! Get involved. Demand action at all political levels.

Gratitude: Thanks for listening — and for acting. Ask how, if you need to.

James Byrne, professor, University of Lethbridge

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