By Mark Gamba, Mayor City of Milwaukie
The last time carbon in our atmosphere routinely exceeded 400 ppm was three million years ago. At that time temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees warmer, and the ocean levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. Imagine if, instead of being above 80 degrees the last week in July, we were well above 90 degrees, and in August if we exceeded 100 degrees for weeks on end. With summers that hot in the Northwest, the probability of wildfires and forest fires increases. Energy usage would skyrocket as more air conditioners were installed, and our air pollution would rival or exceed Los Angeles.
These are not predictions; they are all already happening. Climate change isn’t something happening in some distant future; it is already here.