Yes, it’s a “climate emergency”

In this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing and other recent NC Policy Watch commentaries, reference is made on more than one occasion to the “climate emergency” that currently confronts the planet.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the use of this term has provoked some hostile responses from those who cling desperately to the belief that climate change is a hoax that’s been foisted on the public in order to…well…that’s never really been made clear.

A person named Bryan, for instance, apparently views the matter as some kind of nefarious political conspiracy. He wrote:

you are full of shit period.get your commie asses to another country and leave mine alone.

Another person, who chose not to give their name wrote:

Do you worship the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny? You certainly seem to have thrown yourself prostrate before the fraudulent political scheme of “climate emergency “. You articulate as though you are well educated, however the content of your work displays massive ignorance of the science of climate. Look for facts not propaganda.

While one supposes that the number of humans who would deny the reality of climate change and the environmental emergency it is precipitating is rapidly declining (heck, even major fossil fuel companies acknowledge this sobering and undeniable reality) it’s also never a bad idea to reiterate a few basic facts.

To its credit, the editorial board of USA Today did just that last week. Here is an excerpt from the editorial “Climate change is no longer other worldly, and inaction is no longer an option”:

The consequences of what mankind has done to the atmosphere are now inescapable. Periods of extreme heat are projected to double in the lower 48 states by 2100. Heat deaths are far outpacing every other form of weather killer in a 30-year average. A persistent megadrought in America’s West continues to create tinder-dry conditions that augur another devastating wildfire season. And scientists say warming oceans are fueling ever more powerful storms, evidenced by Elsa and the early arrival of hurricane season this year.

Increasingly severe weather is causing an estimated $100 billion in damage to the United States every year.

“It is honestly surreal to see your projections manifesting themselves in real time, with all the suffering that accompanies them. It is heartbreaking,” said climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

And for those who would like to read the actual words of scientists who’ve devoted their lives to this subject (and maybe consider once more who it is in this discussion that should be properly accused of believing in fairy tales), click here to read a summary of the key findings of a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The bottom line: No one would be happier than me to wake up one morning and discover that the nightmarish environmental crisis rapidly overtaking our planet was all a mistake/miscalculation (except perhaps the scientists who have to document the carnage). Unfortunately, that is not going to happen and it only compounds the tragedy and greatly hinders our ability to limit the damage that so many loud and badly informed voices still lack the open minds and courage to confront this hard truth.

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Yes, it’s a “climate emergency”