Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Real. Serious. Dangerous.

This is serious. This is dangerous. This is happening. And this is very real.

So why are we still debating its existence?

Think about it. And think about what Nobel Prize winning chemist Dr. Mario Molina has to say. Years ago, he was a young scientist who uncovered the dangers of CFC's (chloroflourocarbons). And now, he wants us to realize the dangers of the great environmental crisis we're experiencing today.

The new report walks through a series of potential consequences of planetary warming, without asserting that any is sure to happen. They are possibilities, not certainties, and the distinction is crucial for an intelligent public debate about what to do. The worst-case forecasts include severe food shortages as warming makes itharder to grow crops; an accelerating rise of the sea that would inundate coastlines too rapidly for humanity to adjust; extreme heat waves, droughts and floods; and a large-scale extinction of plants and animals.

“What’s extremely clear is that there’s a risk, a very significant risk,” Dr. Molina said by telephone from Mexico, where he spends part of his time. “You don’t need 100 percent certainty for society to act.”

Some of the scientists on Dr. Molina’s committee like to point out that people can be pretty intelligent about managing risk in their personal lives. It is unlikely that your house will burn down, yet you spend hundreds of dollars a year on insurance. When you drive to work in the morning, the odds are low that some careless driver will slam into you, but it is possible, so we have spent tens of billions of dollars putting seatbelts and air bags in our cars.

The issue of how much to spend on lowering greenhouse gases is, in essence, a question about how much insurance we want to buy against worst-case outcomes. Scientists cannot decide that for us — and the report recognizes that by avoiding any specific recommendations about what to do. But it makes clear that lowering emissions, by some means, is the only way to lower the risks. Because so many people are confused about the science, the nation has never really had a frank political discussion about the options.

G-O-TEA politicians like to deny its existence. And certain media outlets (cough- "60 Minutes"- cough- Fox- cough) don't bother to get their facts straight. Yet while some political fixtures & media personalities continue to exhibit a lackadaisical attitude towards climate change, they can't change the reality that we're already feeling the effects of climate change.

That's why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) joined several other US Senators earlier this month to stay #Up4Climate. We're already feeling the dry now (while other parts of the world experience epic flooding). And we don't have any more time to waste to embark on a cleaner & greener future.

Astrophysicist & "super cool science dude" Neil DeGrasse Tyson knows quite a lot about science. Perhaps that's why he has no patience for those who try to blithely dismiss the science of climate change.

This sh*t is real. It's serious. And yes, it will be dangerous if we don't step up & take the action that's necessary for our own survival.

So why aren't we acting like our future depends on our actions today? News flash: It does.

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