The Scary Thing About Climate Change

I won’t get off my climate change bandwagon until I am convinced our children and theirs will have a safe and sustainable future on this planet. On that note, an editorial by Nicholas Kristof in the International New York Times [January 20, 2014] is scary. He points out that a recent survey revealed that 77% of Americans believe there are signs we have been visited by aliens, while only 44% believe that humans are contributing to climate change. Amazing! What are we thinking?

With 11 U.S. states declared drought-disaster areas; more than 60% of California suffering extreme drought; nature’s back-to-back release of the worst tornadoes in history, and scientist telling us this is just the beginning; two recent once-in-a-lifetime hurricanes within a few years of each other that caused a huge loss of life and billions of dollars in damage; climate-warming CO2 levels that have been proven without doubt to be the highest in more than 650,000 years; an Arctic surface that within a few years will become ice-free in summer; and more than 2,000 leading scientific authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] Reports telling us that the global temperature in 2100 will be between 3.5 and 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in 1900, and the ramifications are profound, like a 23 inch rise in sea levels by 2100, and it could be worse. Places such as Florida and Bangladesh will be essentially gone. 

Why are we dragging our feet? Governments and corporations could make a huge difference by moving us to greater energy efficiencies and expediting the implementation of alternative energy sources such as thermal and photovoltaic solar power, wind power, distributed cogeneration power, greater penetration of hybrid and fully-electric vehicles, and more. Can this be done quickly? Absolutely! Will it require some sacrifice on our part? Yes! You can read a specific realistic plan in “Freedom From Mid-East Oil,” a book I co-authored with Jerry B. Brown and Rinaldo S. Brutoco. All it takes is political will. That will would certainly be present globally if an asteroid were on a collision course with the earth in the not-too-distant future. Frightfully, the implications are nearly the same for climate change! We need to wake up!