Unless the world starts taking serious action on climate change very soon we may all be tuning into The Weather Channel rather than Cinemax for our horror fix. That’s the point of a recent piece in Newsweek in which Sharon Begley puts the future of the planet should we continue to dawdle on climate change into terrifying perspective.
Begley’s piece appropriately (sadistically) titled Are You Ready for More? paints a picture of a planet wrecked by an increase in the proliferation and potency of storms in which entire cities lay underwater and formerly lush lands have become deserts. “From these and other extreme-weather events one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty” Begley writes. “The stable climate of the last 12000 years is gone. Which means you haven’t seen anything yet. And we are not prepared.”
As we mentioned last week strong national policy to fight and prevent climate change should continue to be a goal but at the moment – despite all the dire warnings that continue to emerge – that seems politically DOA. That’s no excuse for inaction however and some local state and regional governments and coalitions have taken the lead.
Some Western and Northeastern U.S. states including Maryland have teamed up with Canadian provinces to form coalitions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In metro Washington local governments have endorsed the National Capital Region Climate Change Report and its target to cut regional emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Action on climate is taking place in the U.S. though policy is being led from the ground-up. As The New Republic recently pointed out “Individual [metro areas] certainly can’t halt the planet’s warming single-handedly but they can control their own contribution to the trend and take strides to mitigate its worst effects as they come to ground.”