The following is a letter to the editor that I happened across that I like:
“Back in the 1960s, my mother with the background of her degree in petroleum geology taught 8th grade earth science in Shawnee Mission Kansas. She also taught Sunday School on weekends. One of the accepted scientific principles she taught, used in understanding the history of the earth, was the Greenhouse Effect in the atmosphere.
She taught that in the same way that a greenhouse works, the atmosphere, clear to visible light, allows the sun's heat, provided to us by our great Creator, to pass through the atmosphere and warm the earth. Part of the heat of the warmed earth is re-released as infra-red heat radiation. However, the atmosphere isn't transparent to infrared, so this heat is trapped by the atmosphere just like a greenhouse, and the atmosphere is warmed by this released heat.
This is not politics and was accepted as a scientific principle long before the idea of climate change became a political football. I was taught the same science when working for Shell Oil and taking a general geophysics course at USC extension. It was estimated that the average temperature of the earth would be somewhere below zero without the warming of the Greenhouse Effect.
It's well documented that fossil fuels are increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, and that carbon dioxide is one of the main sources of the Greenhouse Effect in the atmosphere. In this way, burning of fossil fuels is increasing the Greenhouse Effect of the atmosphere. While there is some range of opinion about the exact effect of the additional heat trapped by the atmosphere, it's generally thought that significant heating of the surface of the earth will occur.
While we're not exactly able to predict the extent of this warming, we are effectively untutored children tampering with a thermostat which we're not able to read. This is a dangerous situation with effects of an unknown severity, which may be more than we want our children to deal with.
For the health and safety of our children and grandchildren, we need to consider the future effects of our present actions, and adjust our actions to provide a healthy future for coming generations.”
Carlton Jones, Beaverton