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There is no more serious issue facing mankind in the 21st Century than the change in the climate of the earth. And it is not just an issue for mankind, but also for all the other organisms with which we share this planet.

At the forum at Richland Community College on July 29, Congressman Rodney Davis acknowledged that climate change is a problem but said that "we don’t know how much is caused by man and how much is caused by natural occurrences."

In fact, there is conclusive proof that the change is almost entirely due to human activity, and the proof is this: (a) Scientists can measure the amount of greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide) that humans have added to the atmosphere; (b) Science can determine the increase in temperature that would be caused by these increased concentrations of greenhouse gases; and (c) The increased temperatures that we observe are what science predicts based on (a) and (b). If the cause of the observed increases in temperature was something other than the greenhouse gases humans are adding to the atmosphere, then those gases would not be having the effect that science says they must have.

People who want a better understanding of this important topic than Rodney Davis has could read the book "The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change" published by the American Meteorological Society.

Patrick Maher, Decatur

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