Climate change affects many innocent victims

John E. Sununu portrays coal miners as victims in his April 9 op-ed “A vendetta against coal.” The coal miners are victims, but not of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Obama administration, who are simply doing their duty to report the fact that burning coal causes huge emissions of the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change.

The miners who will inevitably lose their livelihood as we stop burning coal should be seen instead as victims of climate change, along with many other people around the world whose lives have been upended by changing weather patterns. Here in Massachusetts, we read that these victims include residents in Brimfield whose neighborhood has been hammered by three rare weather events in the past year, a tornado, Hurricane Irene, and the October snowstorm, and now by a fire fueled by storm-felled trees (“Battered in Brimfield,” Page A1, April 6), and the nearly 200 residents of a retirement trailer park in Williamstown (“In Berkshires town, scars of Irene still throb,” Page A1, April 10) who lost their homes to a devastating flood.

These stories are evidence that it is time that we recognize climate change for what it is: a plague with many innocent victims, all deserving of our concern and whatever aid we are able to give them.

John Pitkin