NEW YORK—Following Hurricane Sandy’s destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation’s 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.
From The Onion, of course. My fav part is the concluding quote:
“Right now, Americans all across the country are watching the aftermath of this storm and at long last recognizing that this is what life is like now,” said Dr. Richard Morales, a climatologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “Admittedly, it could take a little while for some to fully acknowledge it, but at the end of the day, people will be much happier once they accept that they and their loved ones will likely suffer the consequences of an even stronger, more deadly hurricane at some point very soon. It’s going to happen.”
“I went through something very similar a few years ago when I finally came to terms with the fact that no one would ever listen to anything I said about global warming,” Morales added. “And that it is entirely too late to do anything about it.”
It's true we can't prevent global warming from continuing to happen. But we can make a huge difference — if we take action. From National Geographic:
Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) today, the Earth would still warm by another degree Fahrenheit or so. But what we do from today forward makes a big difference. Depending on our choices, scientists predict that the Earth could eventually warm by as little as 2.5 degrees or as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
A commonly cited goal is to stabilize GHG concentrations around 450-550 parts per million (ppm), or about twice pre-industrial levels. This is the point at which many believe the most damaging impacts of climate change can be avoided. Current concentrations are about 380 ppm, which means there isn't much time to lose. According to the IPCC, we'd have to reduce GHG emissions by 50% to 80% of what they're on track to be in the next century to reach this level.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we really can't give up on the climate.