A reckoning is inevitable. It will come one of two ways. Soon, as an act of collective awakening, or too late.
It will involve a fundamental shift in our relationships, with each other and with the planet.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weather becomes Climate

One clear difference between the conservative mindset and the liberal attitude: Conservatives are chronically unwilling or unable to question their ossified premises and beliefs. Liberals continually questions themselves, their beliefs and their objectives. Another, a consequence of the first: Conservatives are so adamant in the "rightness" of their beliefs that they justify any means to achieve their ends. Liberals play by the rules, so not to sink to that level of (unconscious?) hypocrisy.

Scientists who have been warning us about climate change since 1958 (that's right) have been all too quick to point out that weather anomalies are in no way evidence of the possibility or the actual emergence of a climatic trend. Even a decade of unusual temperature averages cannot predict global warming or the speed of its approach.

But at some moment, this decade or the next, the evidence will "tip." There will be enough level 5 hurricanes and cyclones, enough floods and droughts, enough cities paralyzed by snow, that the truth, long denied or postponed, will become accepted fact. We passed a half-million year maximum for carbon in the atmosphere in 1900 and the max sustainable in 1950.

In the year we decide we have to radically cut carbon, ten years worth of carbon will still be headed for the upper atmosphere. And it will be way too late for even the most extreme limits to have an effect.

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