Year 4, Month 10, Day 13: The Germ Of An Idea Blossoms In My Fevered Brain

McClatchey’s Eric Pooley discusses the IPCC report, in the Fresno Bee (CA):

The people who are paid to spread doubt and confusion about our changing climate have been working overtime this week, because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific body that includes thousands of the world’s best climate scientists, has just issued its latest assessment. The IPCC report is the Olympics of climate change – once every few years the best in the world show us the results of thousands of the most recent research studies. Inevitably, it brings out the peddlers of doubt, people who do their best to muddy the waters about our changing climate. It’s so predictable you could write a book about it.

In fact, I did write one. Six years ago, when the last IPCC assessment came out, I left my day job in journalism and started work on “The Climate War.” I thought it would be a book about how we finally started to get serious about climate change – I figured we had to, because that report declared that global warming was “unequivocal” and that most of the observed warming was “very likely” caused by human activity.

Instead, it became a book about how we didn’t get serious. The peddlers of doubt won that round and, in 2010, they defeated climate action in the U.S. Senate.

Now the IPCC is back with a new report. Basically, the scientists are as sure that human activity is warming the planet as they are that cigarettes cause cancer.

Miley Cyrus! October 5:

If the greenhouse effect was a nubile starlet offending our sensibilities on national television, newspapers, TV pundits, and Facebook would be full of discussion about the implications for our children, and the future of our civilization. If oceanic acidification was the newborn scion of a hereditary dynasty, we’d be able to read about it in every supermarket checkout line in the nation. Our collective ignorance of the single largest threat our species has yet faced in its time on Earth is enabled by our mass media’s obsession with trivial scandals and irrelevancies.

This, then, is the central challenge of our time. All humanity’s other struggles — the fight to end slavery, to spread democracy, to empower women, to stop the exploitation of children, to curb epidemic diseases — require a stable environment. Earth’s climate is the stage upon which history’s greatest ideas are realized, upon which the dreams of a better future are shared.

If this is destroyed because of the irresponsible consumption of fossil fuels, our aspirations will be replaced by a grim fight for survival on a newly hostile planet. Fail to address climate change, and we fail at everything.

Warren Senders

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