“We are well on our way to the warmest year recorded,” the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote in an email to The Huffington Post this week.
If deemed the hottest year ever, 2016 will be the third year in a row to boast this unfortunate title.
These aren’t even news anymore. But should energize those fighting for candidates who want to do something versus the candidates who are climate change deniers.
We could keep talking about e-mails and pneumonia, but there are real substantive differences on the table here, life and death differences.
This piece from New York Magazine asking When Will New York City Sink is sobering even for realists like me. Seas are rising, faster than ever expected as glaciers and polar ice is melting quickly. And that means more frequent flooding, even when weather is marginal and much higher storm surges when weather is truly bad, which is going to be more often.
One of the things missing from the news coverage of Louisiana’s recent unprecedented flooding was how it was connected to climate change and ominously indicated that a huge swath of that state has been reclaimed by nature as part of it’s famous swampland. You thought you could build homes and towns and civilized society in these areas, but no longer. Those 100 year floods are now 10 year floods and rebuilding becomes imprudent.
No one is very good at acting on the unthinkable. We now know, without scientific question, that the Earth is warming fast, that 2016 is on pace to be the hottest year in the books, setting a record for the third year in a row. We know that glaciers are melting. We know the water is coming. No serious thinker doubts this man-made reality any longer. Yet climate-change denial comes in subtler forms. Try as we might to contemplate how New York City might go under, our imagination fails us.
New York’s future is likely to be as a 23rd century Venice if things don’t change. Or we could keep electing unthinkable people to lead us into an unthinkable future.