Climate’s effect on the web of life

Regarding the April 18 Kyodo article “Chilling: Arctic explorer Yamazaki sees climate change impact up close“: While a scientist can observe its impact very clearly in the Arctic, global climate change is no longer something only specialists can detect, but a phenomenon that affects us all, regardless of where we live.

The interconnected web of earthly life is far more sensitive to environmental factors than most of us can imagine, and climatic disruption is making itself felt in ways that will only become more severe as the greenhouse effect intensifies.

When flowers open a fortnight early, the insects that fertilize them may still be in their larval stages. When plants fail to spread their seeds, animals that depend on them for nourishment may have to seek food elsewhere. When agriculture reels under the impact of extreme weather, food prices go up.

For years we have thought of climate change as something that belongs to future times and distant places. Yamazaki’s observations confirm that the consequences of industrial civilization’s fossil-fuel consumption belong to us all. There is no time left to waste.

warren senders
medford, masschusetts

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.