In recent years weather events have whiplashed between the extremes of heat and cold, flooding and drought. High-temperature records in many places are already being broken with startling frequency, and hotter temperatures are in store. Without a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use, we will veer even further away from the “normal” temperatures and weather patterns that civilization is adapted to.
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By Lester R. Brown In late August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approached the U.S. Gulf Coast, more than 1 million people were evacuated from New Orleans and the small towns and rural communities along the coast. Once the storm passed, it was assumed that the million or so Katrina evacuees would, as in past cases, […]
By Amy Heinzerling The first decade of the twenty-first century was the hottest since recordkeeping began in 1880. With an average global temperature of 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.1 degrees Fahrenheit), this decade was 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than any previous decade. The year 2005 was the hottest on record, while 2007 and […]
By Janet Larsen http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2008/Update76.htm Standing before the United Nations General Assembly in October 1987, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldives, made an appeal representing “an endangered nation.” That year for the first time, “unusual high waves” in the Indian Ocean inundated a quarter of the urban area on the capital island of Male’, flooded […]