How Much More Do We Need to Know?

From the Prairie Writer’s Circle via Alternet, a brief, direct essay by Bill McKibben on the effects of global warming that we’re now witnessing. McKibben replaces his usual genial style with much more straightforward language:

It’s about time for denial to come to an end. We’re no longer talking about theory, about computer models of what might happen. We’re talking about what is happening, all around the world, with almost unimaginable speed. Other countries have at least begun to try to deal with the problem, implementing small first steps like the Kyoto Protocol. But here in the United States, there’s only a scattering of state and local measures. Washington is governed by a bipartisan consensus that somehow the laws of physics and chemistry don’t apply to us.

McKibben creates perspective by noting that effects we’re seeing (melting permafrost in Russia, the “tropicalizing” of Great Britain, massive shrinkages of Arctic ice and, of course, all those hurricanes) have all resulted from a mere one degree increase in climate temperature induced by humans. “More study” of the data won’t keep this from continuing…

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