Time to be scared

Letter to the Editor

Brian Zinchuk, in his Dec. 26, 2019, Top of the Pile has concluded, “No matter what Greta tells our kids, the world will not end.” But he does not speak the truth. 

I think he may be using humour when he compares the real possibility of nuclear annihilation that faced most of the world during the cold war with the real possibility of annihilation that we are facing now.

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Here is the truth as we know it right now. The World Health Organization is predicting a minimum of 250,000 additional deaths directly related to the climate crises will occur between 2030 and 2050. For these 250,000, the world will, in fact, end. They will die mostly from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress. WHO goes on to say children, particularly children living in poor countries, are the most vulnerable to the health risks. 

So the truth is, children should be scared. But much more importantly, adults should be scared, elected officials should be scared, you and I should be scared. Scared to the point where we are doing something to protect the children of the world. Scared of the legacy that we will leave to our kids and their kids. We have seen it coming, the signs have been there for 30 to 40 years, the truth acknowledged and hidden or minimized by oil companies and governments for this entire time. We know what we have to do. It has been clearly outlined time and time again. 

Brian Zinchuk can joke and belittle all he wants. What he should be doing is taking responsibility for the situation in which humans find themselves and speak the truth to his children. If someone at school is scaring them, provide them real information, use science, not rhetoric, take the time to explain what organizations like WHO are predicting and why. Leave Greta Thunberg out of it if you can’t say anything nice about her. Of course she is pounding the pulpit, and, of course, she is being criticized. All great people who changed the world after suffering harsh pushback are cheering her on from their graves, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Tom Paine among them.

In terms of using science, here is a good start: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806

The first paragraph reads as follows ...

“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”  

Laird Brittin



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