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Climate change is about science and solutions

Tangier Island is located twelve miles offshore, in the Chesapeake Bay. The island is a tightknit,  culturally unique fishing community focused on commercial fishing and crabbing.
 A rapidly eroding shoreline, climate change and a rising sea level puts the island at risk to be completely underwater within the next 50 years forcing residents to abandon their way of life.
If nothing is done, Virginia will lose its last inhabited island in the bay.

As a university teacher, I have been baffled why some of my adult students follow me with enthusiasm and open-mindedness in all aspects of science except climate change. I do understand that climate change is scary, and I personally do not want to think about it and hence would prefer not to teach it. I have been more enthusiastic about teaching climate change once I found a viable solution to this complex problem with carbon-fee-and-dividend. Hence, I offer the basics of carbon-fee-and-dividend right after providing the science of climate change — only to be greeted with: "I love your science, Dr. Fu, but I don't like your politics." I was taken aback since offering solutions should be a positive aspect of politics as well as science. However, this student and many others seem unenthusiastic about solutions to climate change. I have been trying to understand why.

The Baltimore Sun's editorial, "The inconvenient science of Tangier Island" (Aug. 3), explained why: we expect science to provide convenience as it has for all of our lives. We love science because it provides answers from how to make things run better and faster to how to heal our bodies from diseases and injuries. We expect science to be convenient, and hence, dissociate climate change from the convenient science we are so used to. Yes, climate change is inconvenient, and as adults, we will have to deal with the inconvenience that comes with it, adaptation to increasing extreme weather events and sea-level rise, as well as long-term mitigation with federal legislation. Let's act like adults and find non-partisan solutions to a very non-partisan problem: climate change.

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Sabrina S. Fu, Ellicott City

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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