Before the industrial revolution and for 650,000 years before then, the CO2 content of our atmosphere was about 280 ppm (parts per million).
Since the rise of our industrial age, the CO2 concentration has risen to 380 ppm. The earth's temperature has risen by about 1.6 degrees.
If we continue to do nothing to stop global warming, by the end of this century the CO2 level could triple and the earth's temperature could rise as much as 5 degrees.
Half of Florida and much of the eastern part of Menlo Park will disappear under water, at the same time we will experience severe droughts and loss of snowpacks.
Denial doesn't change the facts. Global warming is real — just ask the drowning polar bears.
Unless we have another planet to send our children and grandchildren to, the wise course of action is to do everything in our power to save our planet. And now is a good time to start.
-- Elizabeth Lasensky
<i>This letter was published in the May 9, 2007, issue of the Almanac.</i>