Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal -- Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?
Here are a few snippets:
You know, what really distresses me is that the global warming deniers claim that the extreme weather we're having "proves" that climate change is a hoax. When, all along, scientists have been telling us that this is exactly what we could expect to happen. Just because it's cold in the winter does not mean that the planet is not getting warmer. In other words (once more, with feeling) climate ≠ weather.
For two centuries now we've been burning coal and oil and gas and thus pouring carbon into the atmosphere; for two decades now we've been ignoring the increasingly impassioned pleas of scientists that this is a Bad Idea. And now we're getting pinched.
But by definition extreme events are supposed to be rare, and all of a sudden they're not.
We don't just live in a suburb, or in a free-market democracy; we live on an earth that has certain rules. Physics and chemistry don't care what John Boehner thinks, they're unmoved by what will make Barack Obama's re-election easier. More carbon means more heat means more trouble--and the trouble has barely begun. So far we've raised the temperature of the planet about a degree, which has been enough to melt the Arctic. The consensus prediction for the century is that without dramatic action to stem the use of fossil fuel--far more quickly than is politically or economically convenient--we'll see temperatures climb five degrees this century. Given that one degree melts the Arctic, just how lucky are we feeling?