I stumbled across this terrifying thing thanks to a link on Kottke, one on the great blogs (it’s where I nicked this morning’s Cruise Ship video from). This news, reported in Mother Jones, is not so great:
Say what you want about the Obama administration’s relative ignoring of climate issues: Many of his top scientists are paying rapt attention, and they think we’re about to get our butts kicked—although dumping the news at 4 p.m. on a Friday gives some indication of where it sits in federal priorities.
The National Climate Assessment is produced by the US Global Change Research Program, which is tasked with collating climate research from a wide variety of federal agencies and, every few years, distilling it into one major report. The latest, a first draft, is the third such report (the last was in 2009), product of a 1990 law that requires the White House to produce semi-regular updates on climate science to Congress. Today’s report echoes the themes ofearlier editions, and paints a picture that is all the more grim for being an unsurprising confirmation of the dangers we’ve come to know all too well. Here’s the top six things for you to worry about this weekend, according to the report
1. Climate change is definitely caused by human activities. Always nice to hear government officials acknowledge this essential fact. And the report concedes that our only hope of curbing warming is to kick our addiction to greenhouse-gas spewing fossil fuels.
2. Extreme weather is increasing, and that’s our fault, too. In particular, searing temperatures, heavy rain, and prolonged drought.
The rest is here.
Related: last week I had a barstool conversation with a friendly-seeming guy who wasn’t positive climate change was as scary as scientists are saying it is. I did my best to bring him up to speed/make him shit his pants in terror by running through some of the well-known impacts: melting Arctic, drought, erratic weather, extra-powerful storms that require tons of money to repair (i.e., New York a few months back), etc. The report Mother Jones discusses covers the same ground except it’s much more thorough than Barstool Steve and it comes directly from scientists working in the field, not just some semi-informed drunk running an alt. paper.
David Suzuki says this stuff all the time and it’s true: we’re in trouble. We should have started cutting emissions and researching alternative energy on a massive scale more than two decades ago. We’re paying a price for delaying action (which happened thanks to misinformation, propaganda and flat-out lies from climate change deniers, who often have vested interests in the fossil fuel industry).
The global warming bill is only going to go up the longer we ignore it. At some point, it might be too high to pay.