Climate Change is Here - Is it Worse than We Thought?
James E. Hansen's article in The Washington Post is a plea. A plea from the writer who directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. His credentials seem impeccable. This coming week a study will be published by the article's author and his colleagues containing a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures revealing "a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for out present."
Of course there are doubters who may say that all these extreme weather events like severe droughts in some parts of our world, scorching heat waves in exceptionally hot summer in North America, are all part of the natural rhythm of our planet. James E. Hansen observes that the "odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills."
Agreed, some fools may take the lottery option to pay the bills, but in regards to climate change the stake is extremely high. This is the question of human beings' way of life, the current civilization, and billions of peoples' fates depend on so precariously while no practical and concerted effective efforts that all nations agreed upon and in desperate executions of these agreements are visible.
The following are the quotations of James E. Hansen's article that has more dire warnings:
"Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.
When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe."Mr. Hansen is not all about warnings, he also proposes a "simple, honest and effective solution":
"We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs."I do not believe that United States alone can solve the climate change problem. No nation can do it alone. Without China, India, Russia, European Union, Japan, Korea, Canada and other nations' collaborations, these studies and articles on climate change will remain only as pleas. These pleas are not coming only from a NASA scientist like James E. Hansen, but from countless many victims of climate change who have already started paying the price, in Bangladesh, Burma, Honduras, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Haiti, India, Philippines, many parts of Africa, and even Europe and North America are not immune from climate change's painful reach.
This world is ours. So far, this is the only known planet that has the definitive proof of life and marvelous diversity abound. Maybe we will all come on to our senses and stop our and other species' gradual extinctions before it becomes too late.
It's a plea. A hopeful plea.