by Nathaniel Batchelder
For more than 50 years, climate scientists have warned that increasing emissions of CO2 and methane from human sources were warming the atmosphere, and that this would have dire consequences for nature and society if not reversed.
The warnings have been ignored – even ridiculed – and concentrations of these gases have risen high enough to predict with confidence more melting icecaps, ferocious weather events, a hotter world with threatened agriculture, and rising seas that will force tens of millions of people to move from coastal cities.
Zoologists report that our growing human numbers, consumption of resources, and warming the atmosphere are causing a “sixth great extinction” of species.
Some predict that within 200 to 300 years – unless human behaviors change dramatically – more than half of species now in existence will go extinct, and human numbers will be reduced by more than half.
Sadly, action to reduce carbon emissions by shifting from fossil fuels to solar and wind power is stalled in America by politicians who dismiss evidence of the problem.
Donald Trump says, “Trump Digs Coal.” Mike Pence says, “Global warming is a myth.” Their Party’s platform says, “Coal is a low-cost and abundant resource that will serve humanity for centuries,” and, “We will end the EPA’s war on coal,” and, “We will approve the Keystone XL Pipeline,” and, “We will accelerate the approval process for new pipelines.”
Earth does hang in the balance, and voters in November will choose an administration and Congress that are part of the problem or part of the solution.
Mother Nature needs America to vote wisely, and Mother Nature gets the last word.
Batchelder is director of the Oklahoma City Peace House