Cross-posted at Huffington Post.
Earth Day is upon us and that means attention is focused on cleaner water and air, along with a more recent emphasis on climate change – perhaps this century’s greatest challenge. It’s appalling we are wasting time debating whether or not climate change is real. Instead, we should be talking about solutions.
In March, two reports were issued that make clear – yet again – the problems of climate change are real and getting more severe. First, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest scientific organization in the world, declared that the planet is now seeing the impact of climate change and that the consequences could be catastrophic. Most ominous, the association said the window for effective action is swiftly closing.
Then, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations organization that for 15 years has been warning us about the awful costs of a hotter Earth, released its most dire report yet. Melting polar ice caps, extended droughts and massive floods are getting worse – at an increasing rate. What’s more, unless we reduce our fossil fuel dependency, the report concludes we are sure to face climbing temperatures, rising seas, species loss and dwindling agricultural yields for decades, if not centuries. The damage will be particularly severe in coastal communities.