To the editor:

Resuming the topic of climate change, we have a dangerous vocabulary problem.

Doesn’t the word “change” have a familiar, nonthreatening sound? Sure, we’ve all lived through various types of change and come out of them OK, so what’s the big deal?

What awaits if we don’t stop using fossil fuels soon, is the total extinction of all life on Earth – humans, animals, plants – as soon as 15 or 20 years. The gases from fossil fuels are destroying the parts of Earth’s atmosphere that protect our planet from too much heat from the sun. So what lies ahead? Climate crisis? Climate calamity? Climate catastrophe?

We can find safe alternative sources of energy, but we must do it now.

My memory of prehistory is scanty, but I seem to recall that our earliest human ancestors were arising as the dinosaurs were dying.

Our oil and gas come from those billions of decaying dinosaur corpses, deep in the Earth. Can you hear their ghosts laughing at us?

Ann Staffeld

Newburyport

Editor's note: Because of a transcription error, Ann Staffeld's last name was incorrectly spelled in an earlier version of this letter.

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