Global warming: getting hot under the collar
The media failure of self-awareness, the media failure to inform, the media persistence in preferring conflict to resolution and the resulting general ignorance about climate change is especially important because the damage from global warming, from climate change, is not coming in the future, it's here now.
The most recent US National Climate Assessment, released May 6, shows that fact in stark terms, laying out how every region in the country is already seeing the effects of climate change,
It begins to sound Biblical in its impacts: The Assessment reports heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge, increased risks of extreme events such as hurricanes, decreased water availability, droughts, floods, shrinking glaciers, thawing permafrost - leading to wildfires, disruptions of agriculture, decreased food and water security, and damage to infrastructure, all resulting in what it calls "far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences," perhaps particularly for Alaska Native communities, whose lives are already disrupted and will be disrupted more.
The study says that, depending on how hard we work to contain the warming, temperatures could go up anywhere from 5 - 10 degrees F. (that is, from 2.8 to 5.6 C.) by the end of the century - which would mean it's predicting we already will bust through the limit of an increase of 2C. which climatologists say is the most temperatures should increase if we're to avoid truly major impacts.
The assessment is the result of two years of work. It was written by more than 250 scientists, academics, and government officials overseen by a 60-member panel called the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee. They held 70 workshops nationwide, revised the final drafts to reflect thousands of public comments and twice had their work reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences.
And of course none of that mattered to the nanny-nanny naysayers of the right wing, who dismissed the report as anything from political to part of some plot to undermine the greatness that is America because they would rather send their children and grandchildren into an ecological Armageddon than admit they were wrong or, worse, have to stop sucking at the teat of those who get rich by polluting and despoiling our world.
I would appeal to their consciences, but it has become apparent they have none.
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