Year 2, Month 5, Day 30: Wheeeeee!

The Chicago Tribune introduces us to the new “normal”:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a “new normal” of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.

“It’s a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we’re seeing,” climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.

“We are used to certain conditions and there’s a lot going on these days that is not what we’re used to, that is outside our current frame of reference,” Hayhoe said on a conference call with other experts, organized by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sent May 18:

Colder colds, hotter hots. Rainier rains and drier droughts. Stormier storms, disrupting more lives, more and more often. Welcome to the twenty-first century. And the twenty-second. And the twenty-third. Unlike the climate humanity’s been accustomed to for the past ten or twelve thousand years, our new “normal” is the environmental equivalent of a self-destructive alcoholic bender. Atmospheric CO2 will contribute to the greenhouse effect for centuries, which means that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, we’d feel the effects of climate change for a long time to come. Is the inevitability of catastrophic weather events a rationale for inaction? Hardly. Rather, we’re faced with a crucial choice: every step we take towards reducing our consumption of oil and coal will mitigate the storms of future generations. Will we continue our profligate ways, or wake up and address the greatest threat humanity’s ever faced since the dawn of civilization?

Warren Senders

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