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Preserving the Climate Isn’t Just About Theoretical Great-Grandkids

09/07/2011

Image credit: AP / Daily Oklahoman, Jim Beckel

When the topic is climate change, you often hear a lot of talk about making sure the earth is a comfortable place for largely nonexistent great-grandchildren to live.

2011 is a record year for hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods and droughts. The record-breaking drought in Texas has resulted in record-breaking wildfires (see right), and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon thinks it likely that next summer, the drought will be worse.

So maybe we should stop worrying about whether our descendants will have enough sunscreen. Maybe we need to start thinking about surviving the present.

I think extreme weather makes a great incentive by itself to curb carbon emissions. Nevertheless the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently offered up another with their new study, which found that any climate change we cause will be “largely irreversible for 1000 years”.

This petition against the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a good place to start. I signed it an hour ago. I’ve talked about the pipeline protests before, and tomorrow I plan to post about the new direction they’re taking.

I’ll end off with a video that illustrates an important point about climate science:

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