Letter: Climate change is bearing down
Naomi Klein’s new book about climate change, “This Changes Everything,” is an amazing compendium of the horrors awaiting us if we don’t immediately begin to do something to prepare and/or prevent the coming Armageddon resulting from too much ocean water. In a geologic sense the problem is coming at us at breakneck speed. Coastal cities and island nations, beware — rising oceans will envelop you and drastically change all our lives. I say all our lives because nobody will escape the changing economic scene resulting from rising ocean waters. Our blind attachment to fossil fuels will spell disaster for our world as we know it.
Scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Britain’s Royal Society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, International Energy Agency, the U.S. armed forces, many international businesses and island nations are working furiously to prepare for what looks like, at this point, a very scary scenario. Many of our politicians preening for the votes of “climate change deniers” seem to be in blissful ignorance regarding this whole issue.
Personally, I could give a fig who or what is at fault in the question of rising seas. Maybe humans are causing it or the runners on Santa’s sleigh need polishing. No matter who or what — it’s coming. Unless we start to realize that our lives and especially our grandchildren’s will change dramatically, we are doomed.
It may already be too late to do anything. Every single discussion today having to do with war, inequality, food scarcity, poverty, the free market economy, health care, nuclear energy, and just about any issue you can think of pales in the face of the impact of global warming.
Klein says science has saved our bacon many times in the past but there is no “silver bullet” for this problem anywhere on any horizon. It cannot be solved without a painful discard of long-held and firmly implanted political and social beliefs. It will take a monumental, perhaps unprecedented, effort by all of us.
“Every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable.” Thus spoke President Kennedy in a 1961 address to the United Nations on nuclear weaponry. Perhaps the impact of President Kennedy’s words have even more significance for all of us today.
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