Year 2, Month 10, Day 1: I’m Telling You They’ll Be Telling You I Told You So.

The headline in the September 27 issues of the Boston Globe says it all: “State report sees a hotter Massachusetts, outlines ways to adapt to climate change”. Check it out:

Imagine a Massachusetts where it’s 90 degrees or more for 30 to 60 days in the summer. Where the temperature climbs to 100 as many as 28 days. Imagine the ocean temperature 8 degrees warmer, turning brisk dips into warm baths. More rain and less snow in the winter. And the coast being eaten away by an inexorably rising ocean and catastrophic storms.

That’s the disheartening scenario for the Bay State 90 years from now painted in a new report prepared by the state’s Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

The report issued today offers an overview of climate changes that have already happened, changes that are predicted, the anticipated impacts, and strategies to prepare for the change, state officials said.

“Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of this generation, with potentially profound effects on the economy, public health, water resources, infrastructure, coastal resources, energy demand, natural features, and recreation,” the report said. “The time to address climate change is now.”

After reading Jeff Jacoby (the Globe’s resident conservative, and an especially virulent know-nothing) repeating the same denialist shibboleths in his Sunday column, it’s good to see some honest bad news seeing print. I hate Jacoby, but I couldn’t bring myself to write a letter in response to his column; it was just too unpleasant. I’m not even going to link to it, because it was so damned icky. This article, however, gave me enough emotional headroom to craft a response. Sent Sept. 27:

The evidence on climate change has been piling up for years, and the past few decades have seen the introduction of extremely refined methods with exceptional predictive power and accuracy. The newly released report from the Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee takes the accumulated data and extrapolates it into the future with results that are scary enough to send many chronic denialists into full head-in-the-sand mode.

Unfortunately, many of those trying to wish away the greenhouse effect are in positions where they can delay actions that are necessary to mitigate catastrophe. Future generations in our state may be lucky compared to those elsewhere in the world, but in a Massachusetts buffeted by extreme weather and parched by frequent bouts of tropical heat, they’ll have harsh words for the politicians and media figures who’ve ensured that our only national response is inaction in the face of a clear and present danger.

Warren Senders

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