I wish there were about 100 more Bill McKibbens (scroll). This post is a good introduction to him if you don’t know who he is: Maher VIDEO: Hey climate change deniers: “What are we gonna develop that replaces Iowa?” Oceans, marine life, seafood industry now at risk. So are the many videos at the McKibben link above, all illustrating his excellent arguments for immediate, effective action on the climate change crisis.
I urge you to link over and read what McKibben has to say. And as you'll see further down in this post, he has even more to tell us. But first, take a look at what's being reported by a federal advisory committee that was written by 240 scientists, business leaders and other experts. The L.A. Times has the story, and the story is, we're already there. Climate change is no longer some future threat, we're already feeling the pain, and it's only going to get worse. But I'm betting you already knew that:
The impacts of climate change driven by human activity are spreading through the United States faster than had been predicted, increasingly threatening infrastructure, water supplies, crops and shorelines, according to a federal advisory committee.
The draft Third National Climate Assessment, issued every four years, delivers a bracing picture of environmental changes and natural disasters that mounting scientific evidence indicates is fostered by climate change: heavier rains in the Northeast, Midwest and Plains that have overwhelmed storm drains and led to flooding and erosion; sea level rise that has battered coastal communities; drought that has turned much of the West into a tinderbox.
"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the report says. "Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer."
And guess what they say is the main driver of climate change. You guessed right: consumption of fossil fuels by humans. Drill, baby, drill!
Now back to Bill McKibben. After reading that report and coming out from under the bed, I toddled over to the Times' letters to the editor page, and there was a hefty postscript to a reaction to the McKibben article I referred to at the top of this post.
In in a letter published previously, a reader asked "How much would [McKibben's ideas] slow the pace of climate change? Would it make a significant difference, or would it simply be destroying modern economies for the sake of doing something? What will be the result if we don't do it?" McKibben had proposed cutting emissions "globally at a sensational rate, by something like 5% a year."
McKibben was grateful for the questions and responded, in part, this way:
A 2-degree increase, it should be noted, is no picnic. So far we've raised the temperature 1 degree, and that's been enough to melt much of the Arctic ice, so most scientists are horrified by the thought of a 2-degree rise. But on our current path, we're headed for 6 degrees, which is a planet out of science fiction. [...]
[Y]es, this will cost money. It would also indicate that the newly rebuilt economy will be far more efficient and productive — think back and compare the prewar economy of the 1930s and the postwar one of the 1950s.
As for "destroying modern economies," the real danger lies in not doing anything about climate change. [...]
[T]he cost of unchecked global warming could pass the combined cost of both world wars and the Depression. To understand how such a thing might happen, consider the costs of this year's drought and Superstorm Sandy: $100 billion price tags start to add up (and of course the biggest price was born by poor consumers around the world, many of whom saw the price of their daily bread rise painfully out of reach).
Bottom line: not easy or cheap, but easier and cheaper than the alternative of a hopelessly overheating world.
Of course, per Wonkette, Fox News Does Its Part In War On Science, Demands ‘Recount’ Of Weather Temperatures.
ClusterFox strikes again. Apparently, they have no children or grandchildren.