Re: “Baghdad’s record heat — 125 degrees — offers glimpse of world’s climate change future” [Aug. 12, Nation & World]:

Living in beautiful Seattle makes it easy to forget the misery of our fellow human beings elsewhere. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in a place where the temperature rises to 125 degrees, where shade is rare, air conditioning reserved for the wealthy and one has to work outdoors. One response when reading this article is to turn away from the reality of climate catastrophe in other parts of the world.

When we turn away however, our hearts close, and whether we realize it or not, we are less able to love ourselves, our families and friends, and our neighbors. And when this happens, we are even less inclined to reach out and act. It is time for us to look at the suffering and to demand that our local, state and national governments address the climate reality head on by ending fossil fuel energy dependence and subsidies and moving to renewables for our homes and apartments, in our commercial buildings and in our transportation sector.

We have the knowledge and expertise to do this. Only fear and complacency stop us. The paradigm must shift from profit to people now.

Iris Antman, Seattle