Bill McKibben's recent piece in Rolling Stone, "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math", is probably (pound for pound) the best piece ever written about the dire straights anthropogenic climate change has presented the human race.
I can't improve upon Mr. McKibben's words, but I CAN offer an instruction manual on reading his article:
- Read the first couple of paragraphs
- Feel sick to your stomach
- Continue reading while curled up in a fetal position.
"Global Warming's Terrifying New Math" lives up to its title. Hard numbers are presented. For instance:
- "May was the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99"
- "This June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States"
- "Saudi authorities reported rain in Mecca during 109 degree heat -- the hottest recorded downpour in the planet's history"
- Scientists think we can possibly add an additional 565 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere by 2050 without increasing the globes temperature by two degrees (the consensus climate tipping point). However, all the fuel reserves humans are currently planning to burn contain 2,795 gigatons. OUCH!
Bill! I'm a humble climate change cartoonist -- I didn't know there would be scary math! Hell, I didn't know there would be ANY math!
One of the stages of climate change denialism is to say the warming is all natural, so we shouldn't meddle. Meanwhile, we don't hesitate to drill, frack, and carve up mountain tops for fuel. We don't mind changing the flow of great rivers when it serves our needs. We've almost completely drained large bodies of water when we needed that water. We've converted enormous tracts of rainforest to cow pastures. So why do we hesitate to really take action on climate change?
Like I said recently about resistance to renewable energy, it seems climate contrarians feel the fight against climate change is just too difficult. Fair enough ... I simply ask that they please step aside so others can do the heavy lifting.
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