The day after Thanksgiving, while we were still semi-comatose from overindulging on food and family, the White House quietly released the latest report on the state of the world’s climate. Friday afternoon is typically news-dump day, a day for the government to release information it hopes few will read. (You can read it here.) The current occupant of the White House has already gone on record that he doesn’t believe it.
The report, mandated by Congress and the work of thirteen federal agencies, projects a dire future for the world and its human population:
…nearly every corner of the country grows more at risk from extreme heat, more devastating storms, droughts and wildfires, waning snowpack and other threats to critical infrastructure, air quality, water supplies and vulnerable communities. By century’s end, the report projects thousands of additional deaths annually from worsening heat waves and air pollution, as well as declining crop yields and the loss of key coral reef and sea ice ecosystems.
The above is from the Los Angeles Times summary of the report. (To disabuse yourself of any notion that there is hope for humankind and the will to do something about it, skim through the reader comments below the article.)
The report concludes: “Climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.”
The President’s Republican sycophants responded as you would expect:
Ben Sasse (Nebraska): “It’s … just a lot of alarmism.”
Mike Lee (Utah): “All the proposals I’ve seen so far that would address any of these issues would devastate the U.S. economy and have little or no benefit.”
Joni Ernst (Iowa): “Our climate always changes.”
Senator Ernst is correct; the climate always changes. Below – get your scrolling finger ready – is a graphic summary of the ever-changing climate’s temperature swings for the most recent 22,000 years. (The illustration is from xkcd, a really cool web site.)