An Open Letter Regarding Climate Change: Lies, Half-Truths, and Denials

Dr. Jonathan Kenigson, FRSA*

I am writing to urge bipartisan measures to establish a working committee on climate geoengineering in light of the many imminent risks posed by climate change, including unstable crop yields, reduced air quality, and heat-related public health issues.

In the first instance, anthropogenic climate change presents an unprecedented threat to the U.S. agricultural sector. Soaring average temperatures, unpredictable and violent weather patterns, and increased frequency of extreme heat waves and droughts are already impacting crop yields across the country. From a nearly snow-free winter in swathes of the Midwest to prolonged droughts in the Southwest and volatile tornado and hurricane activity in the Southeast, it will not be long – perhaps under a decade – until farmers confront significant challenges in maintaining stable production levels and purchasing necessary crop insurances. These disruptions not only jeopardize food security but also threaten the livelihoods of millions of Americans who depend on agriculture for their income. The balance of trade maintained by U.S. agribusinesses may shift in favor of countries poised to take advantage of increased growing seasons at more extreme latitudes.

As political leaders, it is imperative that you take decisive action to address the root causes of climate change and mitigate its deleterious effects on crop yields, air quality, and public health. This includes implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, investing in renewable energy sources, and supporting sustainable agricultural practices. Regrettably, geoengineering, including stratospheric aerosol injection and cloud seeding, may have to be investigated if conditions become sufficiently inhospitable for agricultural production to remain adequate for the population.

It’s high time to stop pretending that statesmen of your education and experience do not believe climate change to be a genuine issue. Your scientific colleagues are roughly of one mind on this issue and have been for more than four decades. You must not be sufficiently arrogant to believe that whatever knowledge of the matter you possess exceeds that of the cadre of specialists who patently contradict you. Immature social media memes, ill-posed prayers for deliverance, and outright denial of empirical facts will not afford our country any respite from the serious challenges that the global community faces.

Thank you for considering this urgent matter. I urge you to prioritize climate action and enact policies that will protect our environment, our health, and our communities. Though a regrettable consequence of our previous inertia with respect to anthropogenic climate change, I must also suggest genuine consideration of geoengineering research at the federal level. This research should be subsidized at reasonable levels and established via the auspices of national laboratories as rapidly as responsible development and technological capabilities permit.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jonathan Kenigson, FRSA