Friday, November 23, 2018

The Guardian: "Climate change 'will inflict substantial damages on US lives'"

It's like we're on a ship headed for a bleached coral reef, and scientists and activists are unable to persuade captains to change course to avoid major impact that will increase suffering beyond what these captains, and publics they serve, can imagine.  Today's issue of The Guardian has an article by Oliver Milman noting "'without significant reductions, annual average global temperatures could increase by 9F (5C) or more by the end of this century,' a previously released chapter [of the US National Climate Assessment] states." As a reminder, the recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report noted "Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ÂșC."

Jen Christensen and Michael Nedelman at cnn.com reported "Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns."

Robinson Meyer wrote at theatlantic.com "A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday."

Similarly, Bill McKibben has an excellent article in the November 26 issue of The New Yorker, "HOW EXTREME WEATHER IS SHRINKING THE PLANET," noting "The [recent IPCC] report did not mention that, in Paris, countries’ initial pledges would cut emissions only enough to limit warming to 3.5 degrees Celsius (about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, a scale and pace of change so profound as to call into question whether our current societies could survive it. [. . . .] The extra heat that we trap near the planet every day is equivalent to the heat from four hundred thousand bombs the size of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima. [. . . .]  Alex Steffen, an environmental writer, coined the term 'predatory delay' to describe 'the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime.' The behavior of the oil companies, which have pulled off perhaps the most consequential deception in mankind’s history, is a prime example."

Violence is not acceptable, but neither is public apathy.  As Asimov said in a Bill Moyers' Interview, "A little [effort] is better than nothing. [. . . .] I have to say I can’t wait until everyone in the world is rational, just until enough are rational to make a difference."

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