The following is an open letter to Gov. Rick Scott and all the citizens of the State of Florida.
Not since the Paleocene/Eocene epoch circa 60 million years ago has the mean temperature of Earth risen as fast as it has over the past 100 years. The Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) was caused by large methane outgassing events.
In the 1800s, Earth was in a cooling trend, as detailed in the well-known Milankovitch cycles of warm/cold periods. After a short lag period, the Industrial Revolution created our lust to burn fossil fuels and elevated atmospheric gases, notably carbon dioxide, but others as well. This traps infrared radiation that would otherwise escape.
So yes, governor, climate change is real, Elvis is dead, we did go the moon and the Earth is not flat.
Dr. J. William Louda, Loxahatchee Groves
Editor’s note: Dr. Louda is a research professor in environmental chemistry at Florida Atlantic University.