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Letters to the Editor: Look at climate change as an opportunity

In response to Joe Lanz's reasonable request for information on global temperatures in his letter to the editor Sept. 25, I respectfully submit the following.

In response to Joe Lanz's reasonable request for information on global temperatures in his letter to the editor Sept. 25, I respectfully submit the following.

Extensive data on temperature throughout all oceans and land masses have been gathered continuously for many decades, both through direct measurements and through remote sensing from field stations and satellites. Two places online where data may be found include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov ) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( https://www.ipcc.ch ).

There are some common misperceptions about the latter organization. The IPCC is a scientific organization. It is a way for diverse scientists from around the world to examine all of the data and research that has been done on climate change and related issues. Thousands of scientists are involved in writing, editing and reviewing the reports that bring all the climate research together.

This means any factors that may affect the climate, such as solar activity, have been carefully examined and their potential impact on warming has been accounted for. This is done in a transparent and policy-neutral way: decisions on what we should or should not do are left to the politicians (and the rest of us).

There is no shortage of solid data on climate change. The question of whether global warming caused by humans exists has been very clearly answered by the evidence.

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We as a society have tended to talk about addressing climate change as being an onerous burden. In reality, it can also be a tremendous opportunity for economic and human development, with new technology, good jobs and a better quality of life.

It's all about how we approach it. Do we push it off until the very last minute, when crisis leaves us few choices? Or do we seize the opportunity we now have to lead in the 21st century?

Melissa Birch, PhD

Pequot Lakes

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