The Third Curse

Irony is not a human trait. It exists in nature. Only yesterday I wrote about humanity’s three curses, the third being global warming. And this morning the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its landmark Climate Report, the most comprehensive assessment yet on global warming. As the report makes clear, all of us, every living human being, will be affected by the heating of the earth that we have brought upon ourselves.

According to the report, we will confront more record-breaking heat (as in the Pacific Northwest in July and southern Europe last week); more frequent floods (as in India, Germany, and China); more frequent droughts (as in the U.S. west); and rising sea levels that will threaten coastal cities (like Miami) as Artic and Antarctic ice melts. Wildfires like those engulfing the U.S. northwest will become commonplace.

This morning’s Los Angeles Times says that, according to the Climate Report, earth’s climate is getting so hot that temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent. Human life everywhere will be threatened.

Maybe the authority of the UN will finally move us Americans to change our ways, but I doubt it. We have politicized climate change. Trump and the Republicans have denied that it exists. They see no need to change the way we do business, just as they deny the very real danger of the coronavirus.

Big trouble lies ahead.

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