Hot Enough for You?

More record-breaking temperatures, more extreme heat. Telling ourselves we can adapt is just wishful thinking

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Eric Thayer / Reuters

Coney Island in New York on June 30, 2012

When I lived in Texas I was fascinated by all the different ways people had of greeting one another. The one-finger hi-dy. A tip of the gimme cap. The Longhorn hook. And all through those six-month summers: Hot enough for ya?

It is no longer a laughable greeting. I am waiting, desperately, for the moment when we collectively ask ourselves: Hot enough yet? In June, we saw the smashing of heat records in more than a dozen states. Since January, 21,402 daily temperature records have been set. A severe and deadly thunderstorm left at least 3 million people from Indiana to Virginia without power for days — as temperatures continued to hit triple digits. In one of the hottest places in the country, Hill City, Kans., the heat reached 115 degrees; farmers burned their hands on hot tools and fainted in fields. The heat also had devastating consequences for crops and cattle.

(PHOTOS: Extreme Heat: 10 Locations with Tough Temperatures)

Extreme temperatures are feeding monstrous events like floods and fires. A swath of the West is incinerating itself: eight fires burned in Utah; 244 sq. mi. are blazing in Montana; 1,000 acres were scorched in Idaho; and a two-mile wall of flame burned its way down the backside of a Colorado ridge, becoming the largest fire in the history of that state. These are hellish, deadly fires — and there will be more and more of them.

What kind of record smashing will it take for people to understand that we have entered a period of accelerated global warming and must demand action? We are well into the presidential campaign season, and neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama has seriously addressed this urgent issue. In fact, Romney has been downright cynical, and Obama has been negligent. We, the people, are letting them off the hook. It is time for voters to demand a plan of action.

(MORE: How Global Warming Fell Off the National Agenda)

Already, my own children, in their 20s, have no idea what summer used to be like. How, on the coast of Rhode Island a mere 25 years ago, we wore heavy sweaters at night, well into July — and not because the air-conditioning was turned up. No one needed it then. The climate I grew up in is gone. My children have another baseline expectation of the weather — but that, too, will shift by the time their children are in their teens. And it will shift for the worse.

We tell ourselves we can adapt to long periods of 100-degree heat. But who are we kidding? What makes us think rising temperatures are simply going to stabilize at a tolerable level? Wishful thinking, only. What we are seeing is only the beginning of climate chaos to come.

(MORE: When Grownups Bully Climate Scientists)

Americans can rise to the challenge as they have before. The CEO of ExxonMobil (who will soon figure out that he shouldn’t be in the oil and gas business but in the energy business) was half-correct when he said we have an “engineering problem” — though he was cynical in his disregard of the urgent need for a solution. We’re terrific at engineering solutions, but we must have a serious national conversation, beginning in our highest office, about what is at stake and what can be done to stop the pollution while we work on solutions. Only then can true leadership arise. We must demand honesty before it is too late.

MORE: Seven Hot-Weather Survival Tips for the Whole Family

64 comments
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Rico Ng
Rico Ng

 We have merely buried our heads in the head.

ElmerP
ElmerP

We do not have to be without electricity or the telephone.

The power lines could be underground in pipelines.

The phone lines could be under ground in piping.

The first try at convincing congress that telegraph wound work was to bury the lines but the plow to dig  the ditch t o bury the lines broke down so they   put the lines on poles.

 That's history.

cheers  Elmer Jennings

bwshook
bwshook

 I believe the global temperature has only gone up about 1.2 degrees since 1980, and that the "global warming crisis" that we occasionally hear about is simply a NATURAL phenomenon,  NOT man-made.  The experts have proven this fact many times over the years.  Now, the author of this article says that "...we have entered a period of accelerated global warming", and that we must demand action.  Well, I'll demand action--I'd like the author, Dominique Browning, to share the secret of controlling natural phenomenon as it occurs with us!  Tell us how to do that, Ms. Browning!  Or, shut up.

Ramamurthi
Ramamurthi

Since 2 decades the leaders of the world are trying to find a solution but have miserably failed. Thanks to oil sharks, speculators and vested state leaders the solution has become a mirage. 

5 decades ago we had no problem of climate change, because natural forces could neutralize the pollution. Since last 2 decades pollution has increased beyond the nature's capability to counter it. 

The reason is obvious. We are burning fossil fuel much more than the ideal. The basic reason is we are consuming goods and services more than our needs. You and I are trying to keep up with the Jones. Our greed has overtaken us. We over consume and thus produce waste. The waste needs to be treated or recycled, which again consumes fuel. White goods are being dumped much before reaching the designed life. Single passenger cars are a gross waste. Food, fuel and clothing are over consumed. Domestic waste of these has increased. It is estimated that this wastage is around 30% in the US. It is almost same in other developed countries, while the developing countries are catching up very fast. Producers in their quest to earn more are producing and resorting to power selling. 

The other major waste of energy is the terror machine. Terror has become an economic activity. Some states are fighting it while at the same time others are engaged in abetting it. Arms production for the terror economy is contributing to negative GDP, while depleting the quality of life. Terror has also wasting resources.

Today almost 25% of the working population are engaged in terror related activities and probably in another decade it will be 50%.  

World trade has resulted in same utility and quality goods crisscrossing the continents, requiring fuel and resources. It is like " carrying coal to Newcastle". 

A nations economy is rated on the basis of GDP- the more the better. How much contributes to waste and terror is no ones concern, since growth of GDP is the primary    aim.  Unless and until each one of us resolves to practice contentment and reduce wastage we will never be able to reverse the pollution cycle. If this becomes a reality the GDP will drop and resources including human resource will become surplus. This spare resource should be judiciously redeployed for producing renewable energy, organic food , preventive medicines and conserving nature and international disaster management.        

Yoshi_1
Yoshi_1

 The Earth, according to geological records, has had seven major glaciations.  The last one was over about ten thousand years ago.  The climate has been warming ever since with a few deviations (again, the geology). The Earth is VERY active, geologically.

If THAT's not enough historical change for you, well, I guess I can't help.

While I don't want a filthy planet, I certainly can't buy such simplistic conclusions based on flimsy data (a snapshot, really), coupled with crappy models that don't include volcanism. I'm not advocating the free reign of industry, endless development, and NO evironmental rules.

Are you listening, China, etc.?

Yoshi

Ramamurthi
Ramamurthi

It is a fact that the climate is changing due to human induced pollution. It will be naive on our part to relate this to earths glaciations. 

When there is a flood we cannot sit pretty and leave everything to prophesies.  We need to correct the situation, to make life livable in this century. 

Considering our life span and the current situation, I feel we need to adopt measures which will reduce the pain, at least by the turn of the century.

     

Robbie Zorin
Robbie Zorin

I read an article yesterday that England is worried about the Summer Olympics. They are currently experiencing one of the wettest and coolest Summers in memory. So...lets think for a moment. Hot in the United States, Cool in Europe. Those two things cancel each other out. Net Temperature Change = Zero. The media wants us to believe that unless it is 72-degrees and sunny every single day, it MUST be the result of Climate Change. Gotta love em! 

Starshiprarity
Starshiprarity

The overheating of the north atlantic current (caused by global warming) causes increased humity and precipitation in europe while heating and drying the eastern half of the united states (because the current is no longer delivering cool water from the north).

To believe that a net zero change makes everything okay is extremely naive- you should probably trust the people that know a little about meteorology

zaglossus
zaglossus

Even presuming that man-made climate change is not "settled science", unlike relativity or natural selection, the mere less-than-remote possibility that all these scientists might be right should be enough for our policy makers to take heed. The deniers point to the possibility of another explanation (like solar flares or the 1930's Dust Bowl) to leap to the illogical conclusion that it somehow invalidates the entire consensus of science. Perhaps the deniers are right but they should at least concede they might be wrong and do they want to take that chance?

Unfortunately we now have an entire major political party in thrall to the deniers abetted by mouthpieces like Fox News where just the other day one of their regular hosts called "The Global Warming Crowd" "quacks" with a video of scruffy protesters in Rio or Copenhagen. And his single supportive guest was not a scientist but a lawyer who works for an economic libertarian think tank.

Elizabeth St Johns Lair
Elizabeth St Johns Lair

What happen to free speech; I thought we lived in America??????? They are mediating if they will print my comment!!!

Elizabeth St Johns Lair
Elizabeth St Johns Lair

It has to do with the Gulf Stream,  it stopped.  Stop lying to the people , it has everything to do with the oil spill.  When the Gulf stream stopped.  It stopped the warm waters of the gulf, which go on to other areas of the ocean and bring the warm waters.  Don't let them blame the people; you can blame the corporate whores.  The 1% rich hoods that want to destroy us.  Its always the same people and same corporations.  Its Bp, Haliburton, etc.  They all had the insurance all in place, when this occured.  Watch Jessie Ventura on the oil spill.  Now look up on the computer, the gulf stream stopped.  Scientist are saying they made a mistake, about Global warming.  That is reading News paper articles right off the computer  under News.  It was just this week.  When the Gulf Stream stops, everything will change.  The Gulf Stream will destroy the whole eco system.   That is what is happening.  Don't be fooled, they just want to push Agenda 21.  The end of your freedom!!!

carcajou
carcajou

Wow...even the respectable Global Warming Proponent Scientists are not trying to equate the current heat wave to Global Warming.  You are experiencing a weather pattern that happens every so often (remember hearing of the dust bowl?).

Instead of lamenting Global Warming as the cause of this heat wave, try lambasting the shortsighted politicians who refuse to upgrade the electrical grid to something that can withstand storms and carry the load from this weather.  Give grief to the governments that have allowed water and farming practices that cannot withstand the vagaries of Mother Nature!  Bash the architects and builders who have created monstrous buildings that require air conditioning to be habitable!

Global Warming is not the cause of your bad summer; poorly planned electrical grids, road systems, farming practices, water management, land management, and architecture is the cause of your suffering...

Should we conserve?  Yes.  Should we act as stewards of our planet?  Yes!  Unfortunately, when one over-reaches in the manner of this article they make their cause look bad...

Jon Gibson
Jon Gibson

When the aliens finally show up from the stars and find what remains of our 'civilization', they might deduce from the evidence that we suffocated ourselves to death in less than 300 years through the use of fossil fuels, and through deforestation, overpopulation, and commercial junk-ism.  

Funny thing is, if fossil fuels had truly been valued as the non-replaceable resource that they are, with all the capacity for creation that they provide, they wouldn't have been reduced to simple commodities that any company should control them, profit from them, pollute with them.  Talk about criminal misuse of resources.  But then, what corporation ever survived without customers... ahh, so we see who has the real power; the people do and always did and always will.  Really??  Disposable everything created from a limited, non-replaceable resource?

When we try to live above the environment that sustains us, to the point of poisoning it to death through our actions, to be surprised when it happens, to blame God for all the famines and deaths that will ensue if Earth continues to heat up...  I'd say we absolutely deserve what we get.

youngk1234
youngk1234

Global warming is a natural cycle of nature.  Remeber the ice age?  What do you think melted the glaciers?  Do you think the dinosaurs were driving too many cars and using too much electricity?  Or, if you're really worried, maybe Obama can add another tax or print some more money to hire  more aides to figure it out!

Gregory Glass
Gregory Glass

Climate Change, Global Warming.

Heck, I even remember TIME doing a whole big piece on the coming Ice Age back in the early 80".

First, it was the coming ice age, with cooling temps, then, it was global warming. But that didn't work out so good with the long cold winters with lots of snow a few years ago. So, then is was changed to "Climate Change", so you could cover all contingencies.

FACT of the matter is, it is ALL RUBBISH, a HOAX, FAKE SCIENCE.

Yes, there are lots of 'scientists" that say climate change is real. And there are almost as many who can prove that climate change is poppycock.

They don't have problems with emails that expose their "science" as a hoax or politically motivated. Over 40,000 SUED because they were being driven from their fields because they wouldn't pull the company line. Science magizines and governments ignore the evidence of natural climate CYCLES instead of "man-made global warming"

But, have to control the mindless population with scare tactics to make sure the "global community" comes to fruition in every way possible.

What a bunch of lying dolts TIME is.

superlogi
superlogi

Yeah, let's nuke the sun.  Better yet, redistribute the world's wealth.  Social and economic parity should do the trick.

Starshiprarity
Starshiprarity

Or you could say something that would contribute to the discussion. That might help.

drxmd
drxmd

The earth maybe warming up, but humans are not the primary cause. Its amazing that people who have an agenda never, factor in the sun and its solar cycle. The earth has gone through ice ages, and warmed back up, and no humans were even here! Stop the hype! We are going through a warming period from the last ice age!  Also the other planets in our solar system are also going through a warming period. Why is that?

Jon Gibson
Jon Gibson

If you don't understand how nearly 7 billion humans can muck up an atmosphere that's virtually no thicker than 60 miles in any upwards direction....  before gasoline and diesel engines were added as a way we can burn more stuff, there were several billion fewer fires per day.  During the time of the internal combustion engine more land has been deforested than probably during the rest of history combined, so we have reduced air-cleansing-by-plant capacity... surely those two things add up over 150 years?

drxmd
drxmd

7 billion humans don't have cars. Also i'm not saying humans are not contributing to changes in the environment. Humans are not the primary contributors to global warming. What about the suns solar cycle? What about the ice ages?

GOPvictory
GOPvictory

What the south needs now, is a hurricane  to move into the Gulf and move

the massive high pressure system that is dominant over the central US and bring the much needed rain.

GOPvictory
GOPvictory

El Nino, El Nina, high and low pressure systems, oscillations, suns solar activity, all of it is called WEATHER.

Kiya Tut
Kiya Tut

Too late. It is  irreversible. We will have extremes in weather. Wet cold violent winters.  Dry summers getting hotter and hotter until the earths surface temperature is 450 decrees and the atmosphere sulfuric acid. It already happened on Venus. Romney wants to let Kosh  regulate their own coal  fired power plants themselves. 

Yoshi_1
Yoshi_1

 Ahahahahahaha! Good one!

Please explain how the climate on Venus has anything to do with our weather? Was it always hot there?  How long was venus habitable?  How long did this change take? Did Romney cause it?

Our weather's been getting WORSE under Obama! OMG! I think I have  direct, scientific PROOF!

Yoshi

Heterotic
Heterotic

Women should just walk around naked,  problem solved.

Ivan
Ivan

Lets remember one thing - even if we start now..it will take at least a generation for the climate to stablise and that too if the biggest polluter china cooperates in this mission...so start early and dont wait till Antractica starts developing forests to act...

karmicsoliloquy.blogspot.com

Yoshi_1
Yoshi_1

 A generation to stabilize the climate? Exactly How do you know that? Did it take one gerneration to become unstable? How long can it stay stable? How long has it been stable in the past? What is the measurement system you gauge this "stability" by? Is this really an "anally derived assertion" or have you  some actual numbers of your own calculation? One generation of humans is a vanishingly small amount of time given the age of the earth. The entire human historical era isn't that much larger a span by comparison, either.

Puny humans, you will be replaced in time just as the others on this plane were....

Yoshi

zzz05
zzz05

You ask a lot of questions which can be answered by the atmospheric half life of CO2, which is 38 years. 

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

One thing we had left out totally is the

global warming costs. We assumed this like it was Y2K, now we are paying the

heavy price fro this. Extreme Weather Conditions Cost EU’s Transport System at Least €15

Billion Annually A study

carried out by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland indicates that extreme

weather conditions cost EU transport system at least €15 billion a year.

Currently, the greatest costs incurred are from road accidents, with the

associated material damage and psychological suffering. However, costs arising

from accidents are expected to decrease in volume, though time-related costs

attributable to delays are projected to increase. In part, this is due to climate

change, whose impact on extreme weather phenomena was addressed in the study,

and because of consequent costs. In the study conducted by VTT and EWENT

project partners, researchers calculated the costs, caused by extreme weather

phenomena for the transport system, its users and customers of freight carriers

in the 27 EU member states. This marks the first time calculations have been

completed on this scale and scope. The study shows that the mode of traffic

most vulnerable to extreme weather is road traffic. It continues to have a

higher volume than the other modes, with the additional factor of not being

centralised or professionally controlled, in contrast to rail or aviation. In

particular, the consequences of extreme weather are visible in road traffic in

the form of increased road accidents and the cost arising from them. In other

traffic modes, far more likely than accidents will be time-related costs with a

variety of causes, typically delays. Aviation in particular is prone to

time-related costs in extreme weather. The annual net cost in European aviation

is on the order of billions of euros, borne by travellers and airline

operators. Surprisingly, infrastructure related costs did not have a lion's

share of the total costs. In road traffic, heavy time-related costs are

particularly frequent in freight traffic. At EU level, annual losses, measured

to be around 6 € billions annually, are suffered by the customers of freight

carriers as a result of time-related costs, and here is a risk of continued

growth in costs. This is due to the growth in volumes of freight-carrying

traffic, which is forecast at 1-2 per cent a year. Furthermore, improved

efficiency in production chains accentuates the importance of adherence to

timetables, creating further potential for growth in time-related costs.

Passengers in road traffic will incur time-related costs, as extreme weather

conditions slow down traffic, keeping people away from productive work. At the

same time, however, road accidents will be on the decline in the EU. VTT's

researchers estimate that improvements to vehicle safety, along with the

warming caused by climate change, may reduce the cost arising from road

accidents by as much as half by 2040 -2070. However, the impact of climate

change on extreme weather conditions, along with the cost arising from such

conditions, is hard to estimate with any accuracy. In the North, where most

costs incurred by traffic are attributable to snow and ice, heavy snowfalls may

actually become more frequent, despite climatic warming. In Southern Europe,

one cost factor to be reckoned, but which is studied far too little, with in

the future may be heat waves, leading to decreased pedestrian traffic and

cycling, and to increased motorised traffic. Moreover, as droughts grow in

frequency, so will sand storms and dust storms, and as torrential rains follow

heat waves, soil will become less firm, creating potential for landslides. The

traffic mode least affected by extreme weather is sea traffic. However,

transport by sea is no solution to the problem of the time-related costs,

experienced by European transport traffic, because cost-efficiency continues to

be the factor that dictates the choice of transport mode. Bulk freight is

transported by rail or waterways, with lower average speeds but a better

guarantee against the vagaries of weather. High-priced freight, sensitive to

schedule disruptions, is transported by road and air, which are fast transport

modes but susceptible to the whims of extreme weather. “If at first you don’t succeed,

try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” –W.C. Fields I thank you Firozali

A.Mulla DBA

francis colon
francis colon

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ATPDXLTO
ATPDXLTO

It's more complicated than what is being discussed. Here in the Northwest it is very unseasonably cold. Its July 3 and I'm still wearing a jacket, and so is most everybody else I see walking around. I agree that engineering solutions help. I have a house in Mexico that is designed for hot weather and I rarely need to turn on the air conditioning - even when it is over 100. Strategically opened doors and windows generate a breeze. I think it is our duty as good stewards to be kind to our environment. I hope that as we understand better how human activities contribute to climate change that we are successful in being good stewrds.

DirtyDon993
DirtyDon993

I think some people, pro or anti global warming, need to grow up. WE, meaning us humans, are part of the global activity. Thus suggesting that we can and do influence things like global warming. Great, let's build sustainable cooling habitats, let's not gut the cleaner air with corporate smoke, but, ultimately, we are only a tiny part of what's happening...global warming WILL take place with or without us. Ask the dinosaurs what they thought of the ice age...OMG Martha, we'd better get warmer more sustainable skins...huh????

zzz05
zzz05

However animals and plants are able to adapt/evolve to meet changing climate conditions over thousands, or even hundreds of years; not to mention human society and civilization. It's not at all clear that either will be able to do so over climate change that occurs on the scale of decades. 

LeftvRightidiots
LeftvRightidiots

Your arrogance is astounding. I'm sorry you dont like to hear "depressing views" like the weak nature of our species. Scary knowing that a 1.5 degree avg temp increase in 33 years can have you so freaked out that you feel like humanity can legislate the temp of the planet on a whim if you get uncomfortable. Are you judeo-xian/muslim? I find that judeo-xians/muslims feel the most like nature should be at their every whim. After all, the Earth was put here by god for YOU, right? If you don't want to be flooded, DON'T LIVE WHERE IT FLOODS! Our understanding of climate history is too limited to get upset with each other about it. Hell, written record only go back 10000 years max. Of course, you can use ice cores, carbon dating, etc., but like we argue about today, you cannot derive enough information to determine all the factors at play like solar cycles, orbital irregularities, asteroid impact etc.

LeftvRightidiots
LeftvRightidiots

 Your arrogance is astounding. I'm sorry you don't like to hear about the weak nature of our species. Scary knowing

that a 1.5 degree avg temp increase in 33 years can have you so freaked

out that you feel like humanity simply can legislate the temperature of the planet on a

whim if you get uncomfortable. Our understanding

of climate history is too limited to get upset with each other about it.

Hell, written record only go back 10000 years max. Of course, you can

use ice cores, carbon dating, etc., but like we argue about today, you

cannot derive enough information to determine all the factors at play

like solar cycles, orbital irregularities, asteroid impact etc. Are you religious? I find that western religions with their arrogant,

"control over nature" worldview feel the most like nature should be at

their every

whim. After all, the Earth was put here by god for YOU, right?

statepotato
statepotato

"Already, my own children, in their twenties, have no idea what summer used to be like. How, on the coast of Rhode Island a mere 25 years ago, we wore heavy sweaters at night, well into July — "

I understand your point -- but I think your argument would be stronger without the personal anecdotes.  Especially when your anecdotes concerning what happens every year aren't backed up by the data, but your main point about averages is.

Grabbing the first easy to find weather record that turned up (Warwick, RI in June from 1949-2011) we get the following for parts of the 2000s and 1980s for the low for the month, the warmest minimum tempearture, and the average minimum temperature.

Last decade:

2011  46 / 67 / 58.2

2009  43 / 64 / 57.4

2004  48 / 67 / 56.7

2002  45 / 71 / 56.3

In the 80s:

1989  53 / 69 / 59.8

1987  45 / 71 / 58.6

1984  47 / 73 / 59.8

1983  46 / 71 / 60.1 

While the 2000s have certainly had more of the warmer years, they haven't all been warm... and there were certainly warm ones back when you were growing up.

zzz05
zzz05

Serendipitously,  it's just been documented that 

for the past century,  Rhode Island has been warming faster than any other state, 0.339 degrees F per decade. Since 1970, however, it has dropped to 16th place, which is all an impressive 0.52 degrees F per decade gets you nowadays. 

http://www.climatecentral.org/...

f_galton
f_galton

Who wants to go back to a time wear girls wore 

heavy sweaters in the summer? I for one welcome the age of the ubiquitous thong bikini.

Jon Gibson
Jon Gibson

With a growing majority of people who are fat, I hope your hopes for ubiquitous thongs are dashed...  I for one don't need to see globs of cottage cheese hung over a wire.

Guest
Guest

Well, here in New England, the recent temperatures could not be more to my liking.

Here's an absurd thought.  Could global warming being God's way of punishing southern conservatives while rewarding northern liberals?  :)

Seriously though, these global warming skeptics have got to be the same people that think there's a voter fraud problem in the US. Believers defying facts.

saneandreasonable
saneandreasonable

 Oh, another shot at conservatives.

Idiots like you need to just remember that mankind knows alot less about the earth than it knows.

tel00
tel00

 One data point doesn't mean anything.  The current heat wave _doesn't mean anything._

The global temperature has risen 1.26 degrees F since 1979 (source:  https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/....

Even if the warming acceleration doubles in in the next 20 years, that is still less than 3 degree increase F. 

Don't get me wrong.  I believe global warming is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.  But you can't just assume the current heat wave is caused by global warming.  It isn't that simple.

romerjt
romerjt

 KEVIN TRENBERTH, National Center for Atmospheric Research,

With an unchanging climate, you

expect that the number of highs and the number of low temperature records are

about the same. And that was the case in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

And then by the 2000s, we were

breaking high temperature records at a ratio of 2-to-1 over cold temperature

records. But this year, we have been breaking high-temperature records at a

rate of about 10-to-1. And, I mean, ironically, there are some still -- still

some cool spots mainly in the Pacific Northwest.

And cold temperature records continue to be broken.

So, breaking records is not an

indication of climate change. But breaking records at a rate of 10 to-1 vs. the

cold records, that's a clear indication of climate change.

kiwiage
kiwiage

What are you thinking should be done? Legislating cooler weather? Scientists in the field will admit that no matter what changes are made and no matter how drastic, nothing will keep the earth from continuing it's current warming trend for at least a few hundred years. Politicians and the media however, will continue to insist that the laws of man can change the laws of nature. If we don't learn to adapt to this unwelcome truth, we will have to put up with a little hell on earth I guess.

Byst1nder
Byst1nder

 Your right. We can't do anything anymore. So leave your A/C and all other appliances on 24/7, buy the biggest and least efficient car and use it to get your newspaper in your front yard. Let Industries keep polluting and using more gas / oil. Destroy forests through oil drilling and golf courses and so much more.

Because at the end, "no matter what changes are made and no matter how drastic, nothing will keep the earth from having its current warming trend".

Right......

Jon Gibson
Jon Gibson

That's just it, everyone has to change.  But when any retain what are considered 'luxuries', everyone will demand them and strive to get them.  When everyone demands luxury we have the kind of world we currently have.  

Try changing everyone's mind.  Society moved away from a 'green world' during the industrial revolution.  How do we get back to it through force of will?

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

The naivety displayed by the writer of this article is shocking.  Since WHEN did she think "We, the People" are in charge of our government?  We don't pick the candidates.  The oil companies, corporations and wealthy do.  They're bought and paid for by the wealthy.  We, the People, haven't had a populist candidate born into relative poverty since Abraham Lincoln.

The vast majority of these don't seem to understand that mass dyings is likely (on the order of billions), extinction is possible (certainly millions of species, if not mankind himself), and there is an utter certainty that their wealthy lifestyle will be adversely impacted as well.  But who cares as long as the foi gras is served at the right temperature?  That is, until all the geese die off...

Don't go looking to vote in anyone who will rock the boats of the wealthy.  You'll never hear about them.  You'll never see them.  You'll never know about them.  They don't have money.  They don't have power.  They don't own the radio, television, media sites or any other means of communicating their message or introducing their ideas to the public.  We're only going to get "Star Chamber" candidates who have been pre-approved by the powers that be (the millionaires on the left and the billionaires on the right, all squabbling over who can get the most money in a lifetime) to enact their master's will regardless of the will of the people.

So get out the sunscreen, folks!  The planet is screwed...

zzz05
zzz05

We allow it to happen. We (using the term loosely) allow the media to manipulate us, the PR/advertising machines to twist our point of view until we celebrate the "choices" we are offered, like 4 year olds demanding some box full of empty calories calling itself breakfast cereal on the grounds of the ads they see on TV. 

Byst1nder
Byst1nder

 And the Millionaires and Billionaires are already planning on escaping the planet if they destroy the earth. Remember Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are just a subterfuge towards their plans in escaping Earth when it becomes too hot to handle. Leaving us poor people suffering and sweating.

tel00
tel00

 I disagree.  There is always at least one third party candidate that is on the ballot.  Sometimes there are multiple.

Here is what i ask to the public:  You see the ads.  You know they cost money.  You know what they have to do to get that money.  So why do you vote for them?  Seriously.  Why do these people get any votes?

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

You make my case for me.  The WEALTHY fund their candidates.  The others remain unadvertised, thus unknown and unable to become known.

The WHY people vote for them is because those who have their ads paid for by the wealthy - either directly through donations to the campaign or indirectly via super-PAC's - are the only ones they hear about and thus the only ones they'll ever vote for.

People, in general, are stupid.  Abysmally so.  On average, they give less thought to their vote than they do to the route they take home every day from work, and they do even less research into the actual candidates running than they do their thinking about their vote.

The wealthy, corporations and those who wield power rely on that stupidity, manipulate it and ensure that viable alternatives to the status quo remain ridiculed, obscured or demonized to avoid their implementation.  Billions will die.  And instead of spending trillions to avoid this issue, we will be spending quadrillions to deal with it, thus proving conclusively that to date, the universe has not yet produced intelligent life.