Year 4, Month 3, Day 18: If We Cared Enough…

The Las Vegas Sun is one of many papers highlighting the “biggest heat spike in 11,000 years” story:

A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.

Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until a dramatic spike in the 20th century.

Study author Shaun Marcott says his data shows that 1900 to 1910 was one of the coolest in the past 11,300 years. Yet 100 years later, the decade was one of the warmest.

Marcott and other scientists say the long-term context indicates global warming isn’t natural but man-made since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Everything’s fine so far, right? March 8:

If we condensed Earth’s 4.6 billion year history by a factor of a hundred millio, it’d be just under fifty years, and human beings wouldn’t emerge until about four hours ago. And in the last one minute, our species has not only cut down fifty percent of the planet’s trees, but reintroduced the carbon that fossilized over an entire geological epoch into the atmosphere. We shouldn’t need a climate scientist to tell us this is a bad idea.

Every year, our industrial economy burns five million years’ worth of ancient sunlight in the form of oil, coal and natural gas. A 5,000,000:1 ratio is obviously unsustainable, but because humans have for the most part not grasped the large-scale consequences of their consumption habits, we find ourselves hurtling toward the abyss. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of climate-change denialists reject many other scientific findings, preferring the comforting myths of ancient cultures to the disturbing truths of our predicament.

If we want our children and their children in turn to have lives full of hope, beauty and prosperity, we need to face the facts of the climate crisis. Denial is both intellectually and morally inexcusable.

Warren Senders

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