Over the past several weeks it has come to my attention there have been several articles written about how the coal industry, and oil industry, have touted the high-paying jobs created by those industries and how North Dakota is prospering because of those industries.

What is missing is the elephant in the room, i.e, climate change, global warming. The writers of those letters and articles are looking only at short-term gains and not the long-term damage. If you believe in science at all you cannot escape the truth of the damage that will be done to the environment by climate change. And don’t come up with the argument this is a natural occurring phenomenon that will occur with or without human activity. That argument has been negated by climate scientists.

According to The Royal Society of London, National Geographic and other reputable scientific organizations, 98 percent of those climate scientists agree climate change is caused by human activity. Those well-paying jobs referred to earlier can be replaced by well-paying environmentally friendly jobs. The workers in the coal and oil industry might have to be retrained to produce sustainable environmentally friendly electricity but in the long run they would be protecting the planet for their children and grandchildren.

I am hoping this letter will generate a dialogue about what is good for our planet. What I fear is my letter will provoke irrational arguments, name calling or “alternative facts” that will serve no purpose. Again, I urge a debate on climate change and whether you agree or disagree climate change is one of the most important problems we have to face.

Al Coen, Fargo

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