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Opinion: We know what’s causing the drought. When are we going to act?

Utah’s drought is slowly but steadily depleting the Great Salt Lake. We know why temperatures continue to rise. Let’s act

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Dried lake bed is pictured in Farmington Bay, looking at Antelope Island.

Dried lake bed is pictured in Farmington Bay, looking at Antelope Island, as the Great Salt Lake experiences record low water levels on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Great Salt Lake drying up is a climate change public perception tipping event.

A climate change public perception tipping event is when something happens that is so drastic it can’t be argued it isn’t happening. And, it requires immediate adaptation actions.

Many articles have been published in the Deseret News about this issue. Most talk about what actions need to be taken now to prevent it from occurring. Some have referred to the issue as an environmental nuclear bomb

The environmental impact is catastrophic, but not the biggest impact. The biggest impact is that people will die from breathing toxic dust from the dry lake bed. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people will die.

No one can argue the lake isn’t drying up. No one can argue it isn’t due to our decadeslong drought.

No one can argue the temperature in Salt Lake County hasn’t increased 2.5 degrees since the beginning of the 20th century. That’s just data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. No one can argue that the drought isn’t the result of this temperature rise.

Can anyone make a rational argument that this temperature rise isn’t the result of climate change? I don’t think so.

It’s past time to take action to address the real cause.

Marc Peterson

Sandy