The terms “climate change” and “global warming” are not even controversial to the scientific community, an expert told an environmental health policy conference in Springfield Friday. Dr. Samuel Dorevitch says there’s a disconnect between scientists and what the general public believes the scientists believe. “People who are actually engaged in measuring, making observations of climate, are very convinced – overwhelmingly convinced – that our climate is warming, and there’s a human fingerprint in that; that there’s a strong human contribution.”
Dorevitch, an associate professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, appeared at the Midwest Environmental Health Policy Summit, put on by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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The director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was on the program with Dorevitch and pointed to the run of outstanding and record-setting weather events of the past few years.
“It's pretty hard, at this point, to ignore the fact that something is causing the frequency of disasters we’re seeing, something is causing the severity of what we’re seeing,” said Jonathon Monken, “and any Illinoisan that’s lived through this winter can recognize that it hits all ends of the spectrum in terms of extremes, and it’s not fun.”
Dorevitch said the two strategies which can be deployed are mitigation and adaptation. Using mass transit more would be an example of the former; New Orleans building a taller bridge to replace one ruined by Hurricane Katrina an example of the latter.