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Let’s be clear — the Earth’s climate is changing rapidly, and it is not changing because of natural cycles. While that was true in the distant past, the changes in climate occurring now are almost entirely due to human activities, namely our burning of fossil fuels and land use change.

This is not just my conclusion, it is the conclusion of the hundreds of scientists involved in the U.S. National Climate Assessment and many other national and international assessments of the science underlying our changing climate.

For the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment (Go to to see Volume 1 on the science), a report required every four years for Congress through the U.S. Global Change Act and signed into law by President G.H.W. Bush in 1992, the scientists preparing this assessment were selected by 13 major federal agencies (e.g., NASA, NOAA, NSF, USDA, DOE, EPA, the Department of State).

They concluded that “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

There is no debate at all about this in the science community. Yet, Alan Batts repeated the often-stated canard about natural cycles in his comment in The News-Gazette on Oct. 8. Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time and should be taken very seriously.