1. David Wallace-Wells “The Uninhabitable Earth”; Penguin Random House; New York, N.Y.; 2019; p. 96.
2. “What Happens when the Permafrost Thaws?”; CTV W5.
3. “Miami, Other Coastal Cities May Drown in 80 Years”; Bloomberg Environment; May 20, 2019.
4. https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/about-models/ ; accessed 7/20/19.
5. https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/coupled-physical-model-cm3/ ; accessed 7/20/19.
6. Representative concentration pathways (RCPs) are standard climate analysis protocols that each assume only minor changes in the net (downwards-upwards) energy flows from the sun to the earth and back over time. The use of a RCP allows the exploration of scenarios involving varying socio-economic and policy variables, in so far as they result in a specific greenhouse gas emission trajectory and subsequent radiative forcings that affect temperature. Here we describe RCP 2.6, a low emission scenario that everyone is hoping for; but will be difficult to achieve unless measures begin to abate carbon emissions in 2020.
7. This essay is about the need to act on climate change, fast. It is also about creating American jobs for the future. A 7/13/19 NYT article quotes Dwayne Thomas, president of his local chapter of the United Mine Workers in Pennsylvania:
“Despite having a sense of patriotism and longstanding pride in the role that miners have played in American history, he’s also aware that his region’s dependence of fossil fuel jobs needs to end. ‘Climate change is happening,’ he told me recently… ‘We have to tackle it before it becomes too large an entity to take on.’ The best way to begin tackling climate change, as Mr. Thomas sees it, is taking the (objectives of the) Green New Deal seriously, rather than rejecting it out of hand, as President Trump did this week, complaining that ‘it’ll kill millions of jobs’ and ‘crush the dreams of the poorest Americans.’
“‘It’s not socialism,’ Mr. Thomas said of the warming temperatures and rising seas. ‘It’s reality.’
“Others who have spent their lives in communities that rely on extractive industries are ready to give the Green New Deal a shot, but the first step, as Mr Thomas sees it, is to shift the positioning…from addressing climate change to creating sustainable jobs for those in danger of being left behind by both the industries they served and the federal government. ‘You’re going to lose a lot of people if you just talk about climate,’ he said.” *
* This is also General Russell Honoré of Louisiana’s observation.
Perhaps the clearest Democratic message might be Sustainable Jobs and Improved Health Care, the latter extending the current system. This will prioritize what is immediately the most important, appealing to the American people’s greatest advantage, their common sense. Return to Previous Page