What People Get Wrong About Climate Change

I’m really liking the short videos created by Vox that help explain complex issues with simple language and compelling visuals. This one channels comedian George Carlin’s famous line, “The planet is fine. The people are fucked.” He was basically right, but just how fucked is still up to us.

Deniers like to argue that the climate has always changed, which is completely ridiculous if you actually put things in historical perspective. Of course it has, but in the tiny fraction of time that humans have been stomping around on this planet, the climate has actually been very stable. Our entire civilization depends on that stability. And these guys want to bet everything on the idea that maybe a little warming won’t be so bad. As if increasing droughts, wildfires, floods and record-breaking temps aren’t already costing us billions of dollars.

The simple truth about climate change is that it isn’t new to the planet, but civilization is. Slowing down climate change isn’t about saving the planet. It’s about us. About our vulnerability to a level of climate disruption that human civilization has simply never seen before.

Every major scientific organization in the world agrees that burning oil and coal is heating up the planet faster than ever, and that we can prevent the worst case scenario if we act quickly on clean energy. Exxon’s own scientists knew this decades ago, but instead of cleaning up their operations, they spent millions backing climate-denying politicians and misinformation campaigns.

We can’t change everything overnight, but we can shift our priorities pretty quickly if we stop letting Big Oil & Coal call the shots in Washington. Let’s vote the climate deniers out and elect some leaders who actually care about the future of humanity. Only then, will we have a chance not being completely “fucked.” If you want to dig more deeply into the history of global temperature change and how it relates to us, check out this great article by David Roberts.

Cross-posted with Modern Evolution.