Climate change is not happening slowly, as we were once told, but terrifyingly fast.
By David Wallace-Wells
Los Angeles Times (2/27/19)
The extreme weather of the last year has been so terrifying, and so very extreme, that it is tempting to look at the string of disasters around the world and think: Climate change is here. Certainly that’s what Jerry Brown meant when he described the wildfires ravaging California in the fall as “the new abnormal.”
It will only get more so. We have already exited the environmental conditions that allowed the human animal to evolve in the first place, in an unplanned bet on just what we can endure. By the end of the century, if warming continues unabated, wildfires could burn 64 times as much land in California as they did last year, which was more than a million acres.
But climate change isn’t binary, and this is one of the five major misapprehensions even engaged liberals have about warming. It’s not a question of whether it will happen or not, or whether it will be like the 2018 wildfire season or 64 times worse. Climate change is a function that will get worse over time as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gas.
No matter how bad it gets, it will always be the case that the following decade could bring more suffering — or less. And believe it or not, the amount will always be up to us. Climate change may seem intimidatingly large, but the responsibility is entirely ours. …