Beginning effects of climate disruption
To the Journal editor:
The last year or two has seen an unprecedented number of U.S. natural disasters: major hurricanes, massive floods, deadly tornadoes, severe wildfires, subzero cold spells, some of the hottest years on record, etc. The rest of the world has likewise suffered increasing droughts, desertification, melting glaciers, typhoons, flooding, heat waves, etc.
These phenomena are not unrelated. The vast majority of climate scientists say they are the beginning effects of ‘climate disruption’ that will, without question, get significantly worse in the foreseeable future. For the next 11 years, according to the latest reports from both the UN and the US government, we have the chance to ensure that the worst case scenarios do not come to pass, by de-carbonizing our economies (for state-of-the-art information on this, see David Wallace-Wells on YouTube.)
Each additional degree of global warming will make the extreme weather we’ve seen many, many times worse for future generations (as well as creating untold millions of climate refugees). But it can be turned around, and must be, starting now. This is no joke, no hoax, but rather a deadly serious, long-term, life-threatening emergency.
Instead of denial, we need to ask ourselves one serious question: What will our children and grandchildren say about us 30 or 50 years from now? Will they curse us for willfully ignoring the clear signs of the impending destruction of a reasonably livable planet for them? This question requires our active attention.