Response to July 5th Jeremy Baker letter

Tuesday, July 12 2016

As stated last week by Jeremy Baker in “Increasing Greenery”, the Earth is indeed getting greener. The authors of a study published in Nature Climate Change in April found that 70% of that greening is due to the growth-promoting effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that are now about 50% higher than they were in pre-industrial times, and the rest has resulted from several other factors, including warmer temperatures.  But Baker is dangerously wrong in suggesting that frequent flyers (and frequent drivers for that matter) shouldn’t feel responsible for the implications of their actions.  In spite of the increased vegetation intensity, and its increased ability to consume CO2, atmospheric CO2 levels are rising faster than ever, and the climate is warming faster than ever. We are all responsible for our use of the atmosphere as a dumping ground for the CO2 produced by our consumption of fossil fuels, and it is only by accepting that responsibility—and changing our habits—that we will be able to slow the rate of climate warming and its many devastating impacts:  fires, floods, heat waves and droughts to name a few.

~ Steven Earle