Climate Disruption is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial.
An article posted today in the New York Times highlights the sobering climate effects that have come to the fore in 2020, including massive wildfires that turned skies orange in the Bay Area and 130 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in Death Valley-- the highest ever recorded on Earth. Speaking with climate scientists and other experts, the article underscores the fact that this year is not an aberration, but just a starting point, and that more extreme climate patterns are all but assured to continue for several decades, even if we were to start aggressively cutting carbon now.
“What we’re seeing today, this year, is just a small harbinger of what we are likely to get,” said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan, in the article. Things are on track to get “twice as bad” as they are now, he said, “if not worse.”
Rising heat waves, sea level rise, and extreme wildfires are going to continue to escalate, but our response is still firmly within our own control. We must aggressively adopt unprecedented measures to cut emissions while drastically changing how and where we build our cities, neighborhoods, and infrastructure.