Earth Matters: Let science drive climate action – not politics – Opinions

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By Patti Wood

I spoke recently with a friend who lives in Salem, Ore., the city that was in the news last week for recording the highest temperature in the country, topping out at 117 degrees. He moved to the Northwest several years ago to be near his daughter, but also because of the temperate climate, conducive to gardening and bike riding.

But with last year’s forest fires licking at the edge of nearby vegetation that filled his home with smoke and then this once-in-a-millennium, dangerously hot weather event keeping him trapped in an air-conditioned car or house, he like millions of our fellow Americans is feeling the effects of climate change in a very personal way.

If you follow the science, we are now in a critical place when it comes to climate change. NASA publishes periodic reports on what is happening around the globe. Here are some of their latest and compelling findings:

• Temperature – The planet’s…

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