A big story …
VIENNA —Longtime Summit Voice readers will have noticed a gradual transition over the last few years away from local news coverage in Colorado to focusing on what is probably the over-riding environmental issue of our time.
There’s no longer much doubt that global warming poses an existential threat to humanity. The Earth, to be sure, will survive, but the ability of humans to maintain some semblance of civilization is definitely under the gun.
At worst, climate change (and yes, I use the terms interchangeably) will trigger some catastrophic and and as-yet unforeseen tipping point that will lead to mass extinctions and widespread ecological collapse. That’s not far-fetched if the world doesn’t get a grip soon on greenhouse gas emissions.
At best, even if we meet the targets set at last year’s climate talks in Paris, there will be massive dislocation from coastal areas from flooding and storms, and mass migration from parts of the world that will just be too hot. There will probably be major disruptions to the world’s food supplies. And many of the world’s natural treasures, like its glaciers and coral reefs, will just disappear.
It’s easy enough to say that life goes on, at least in the short term, but that’s not enough. Sure, some of the other short-term issues (politics comes to mind) matter, but in the long run, none of it will unless we get our act together soon to cut greenhouse gas emissions to near zero.
Some of my climate change reporting is now online at InsideClimate News and I’d like to invite all Summit Voice readers to check out their feed. Their great team of journalists is working hard to cover the most important aspects of the climate change story, and I’m happy to add my reporting to that effort.
My recent stories there include a look at how the Department of Energy under President Obama has been pumping billions of dollars into clean coal technology; a story about projections for record Arctic sea ice melting this summer, and a report on the melting of Austria’s glaciers.
Take some time in the next few months to consider the implications of climate change as you think about the upcoming election and choose wisely!