Climate change. It’s not just coming… it’s happening. Just ask Seattle.
This graph was generated by Exxon scientists in 1982. We can now check their predictions 40 years later. The scientists predicted a carbon dioxide level of 420 parts per million — today’s measured level is 418 parts per million and before the industrial revolution it never rose above 300 parts per million. The scientists also predicted a world temperature increase of about 1.0 degrees Celsius. Current temperature increase from 1982 is 1.0 degrees Celsius. The astonishing accuracy of these 40-year predictions is not because this science is easy — but because this science is hard and people understand how important it is to get it correct.
So… Exxon knew. We have squandered 40 years, 2 generations, to prepare for and/or curb the effects of global warming. We have squandered them because of the efforts of large corporations, the wealthy, and the politicians and propagandists whom all that money can buy. And today, incredibly, there is still a debate on whether to even have a “Green New Deal” when we should be debating just how immense such a program should be. There are no quick fixes here — and because we have squandered time, the solutions now will likely cause a reduction in our expected Western standard of living. However, I think a reduction is probably better than a complete collapse — which is what will happen if we foolishly continue to delay our efforts.