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Letter: America must address climate change today

America must address climate change today

A writer in the Sept. 16 Everybody’s Column rightly points out that the effects of climate change are not only being observed at the poles and in coastal areas, but also here in Western New York. The writer stated that it is time for our leaders to at least begin discussing climate change.

It seems that some members of Congress agree. Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican representing New York’s 19th Congressional District, will sponsor a resolution acknowledging the contribution of human activity to climate change and calling for action to mitigate its effects. Ten other House Republicans, including two from upstate, are co-sponsors.

It has become increasingly clear that climate instability cannot be a partisan issue, and that it must be addressed by both governments and markets. A study released by Citigroup last month concluded that the costs of inaction will be far greater than those associated with aggressively reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency.

In 2014, the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review concluded that the effects of climate change are “threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions.”

Business as usual is not an option. Gibson and his colleagues have taken a courageous and needed step forward. The entire House, and the Senate, should step forward as well.

Ron Scott