Just around the corner?
From the Boston Globe letters section:
Preemptive action on climate change
LAST WEEK, as thousands of people were reported dead in France due to the overwhelming summer heat, power outages wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States due to increased summer energy demand, wildfires ripped though the West, and soldiers in Iraq dealt with temperatures over 120 F, I wonder if the president on his ranch was considering the following: What if the temperatures this summer were even further elevated by climate change?
In late July, the administration announced a 10-year, $103 million plan to research climate change before taking any action. As a citizen, one must ask: What is the president doing now in the off chance that the overwhelming majority of published scientific literature providing evidence for climate change is actually true? The answer is nothing.
The reason for preemptive action on climate change is the same as a preemptive attack on terror: by the time either one strikes, there will already be thousands dead and billions of dollars lost. No scientific report will be necessary, only an investigation into what went wrong. We do not need another congressional investigation. The time for this administration to act is now, not in 10 years.
It is not unusual to read views about the dangers of global warming and the need to implement policy change as a response. What struck me about this particular opinion is that the author has not only concluded that the Earth's temperatures are in fact rising, that the recent weather is evidence of this fact, and that this rise is caused by humanity, but also that the resulting disaster is just around the corner. For him, global warming is not an alarming trend that must be fought for the benefit of future generations, nor a far-away potential whose consequences necessitate a prudent eye. It is here and now. France's heat wave. Northeast power outages. Forest fires. We must 'act now' or else famine and blight shall be unleashed upon the heathens. Fire and brimstone dispatch next summer.
It must be nice to have such unfettered faith and certainty about the world.