The underlying urgency in Mayor Heidi Harmon’s call-to-action (“Now is the time to defend SLO County coast from threat of offshore drilling,” Tribune, Jan. 11) is a matter of degrees.
One degree Celsius of global warming is where we are now, and we can already see extreme heat waves, forest destruction, storms and flooding happening more frequently.
When warming reaches 1.5 degrees, we will have lost most of our coral reefs. As we hit 2 degrees, ice sheet melting in the West Antarctic and Greenland is likely to become irreversible, creating hugely expensive problems for our coastal cities.
Three degrees is where we’ll be by 2100 if all the pledges made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement are kept but not improved upon. These pledges are important, but they’re only a start.
Four or five degrees of warming is where we’re headed if the world’s climate efforts collapse and the fossil fuel industry is allowed to dictate energy policy.
Mayor Harmon is right on the mark in keeping this growing crisis in focus. Every city and state in America has a moral and financial stake in resisting the Trump administration’s disastrous detour away from implementing an effective national carbon reduction program.
Michael Segor, San Luis Obispo