CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE BIG GEST THREAT WE’RE FACING—PERIOD.
by Heather Goldstone
AN EMERGENCY IS AN URGENT life-threatening situation that is actionable. If you have an extreme threat and it’s completely unactionable, it’s not an emergency. It’s just a tragedy. That’s a really important distinction when it comes to climate change, which is an actionable emergency. Recently, a group of about 14,000 scientists published a signed re-declaration that we’re in a climate emergency.
There is extensive science that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are completely unprecedented. Carbon dioxide levels have not been this high in over 800,000 years. Modern humans have been around for a little bit less than half that. If you look at the last 10,000 years, at the evolution of agriculture, at the entire development of civilization, that has all taken place in a time of remarkable climate stability. It’s that stability that has made it possible for civilization and the societies we know to develop.
The fact that we are now so far outside the bounds of anything we’ve seen in the course of human evolution is an emergency. It’s cause for huge concern.
Carbon dioxide has always been in the atmosphere and it’s an incredibly important part of our planet that we have had this warming layer. What’s really critical here is to realize that you can cherry-pick specific statistics to support an argument, but there is no scientific debate about the fact that the buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is causing dangerous climate change.
So what would drive some people to deny an overwhelming body of science that tells us we are headed in a really dangerous direction?
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