About the Colony

Learn about climate change at Earth Day forum

Special to The TribuneApril 21, 2014 

Lon Allan

THE TRIBUNE

A public meeting dealing with climate change will be held Tuesday night in Atascadero.

The free forum will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Community Church beginning at 7 p.m.

One of the issues to be answered, at least for me, will be the difference between weather change and climate change. I tend to use the terms interchangeably, as if they are the same.

According to a news release I got from a friend, Tuesday night’s forum will provide an understanding of how climate change has been measured here on the Central Coast, including sea surface temperatures, changes in wind patterns and air pressure. More important, I want to know what impacts it will all have on the Earth if immediate steps are not taken to reduce greenhouse emission gases.

When I was a teen growing up in Kingsburg in the San Joaquin Valley, we could look up to the Sierra and see if it had snowed. Now you can’t even see the mountain range from there. All I see as I drop into the valley is a brown haze.

Tuesday night’s panel will consist of Ray Weymann, a retired astrophysicist and a resident of Atascadero. Holding a Ph.D. from Princeton, Weymann is co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team that supplies information to environmental journalists about climate science.

Also on the panel will be John Lindsey, a marine meteorologist for PG&E. He has forecast weather and oceanographic conditions along the Central Coast for more than 20 years.

The third member of the panel will be Heidi Harmon, chair of the Climate Change Task Force of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

There are those who don’t trust the scientists on this issue. For me, I might not trust one scientist, but when many concur on a subject, I tend to take their conclusions seriously. There is just too much evidence to ignore here.

I want to learn what not only I as an individual can do, but what leadership role the U.S. government can take in solving this global problem. It is a worldwide problem.

My only question is this, is there still time? I hope to get an answer Tuesday night.

The Fellowship Hall is at 5850 Rosario Ave. behind the Community Church, almost across the street from the Atascadero police station.

Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades, and his column is published weekly. Reach him at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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