The political Right in the United States have, for a long time, called all manner of things alarmist – two feet of sea level rise, melting ice caps and glaciers, and so on.
What’s frustrating is that most of these people have never actually encountered the worst-case scenarios, and when they call things like two or three feet of sea level rise “alarmist”, they convey the impression that a little sea level rise is the worst we’re likely to see.
And then, of course, the media’s ever-paranoid scramble to be “in the middle” leads them to even rosier predictions, and people don’t get scared.
Douglas Fischer of Daily Climate just posted an excellent piece reminding us that this problem is not only still around, but it is getting worse. Predictions of what will happen are consistently falling short of what is already happening, and yet those predictions are still being called alarmist.
And so I will return to my original purpose with this blog, re-assume the mantle of Climate Extremist, work to illustrate, as convincingly as I can, just how bad it can get. This post is, to be honest, more of a commitment to myself than anything else, since I don’t have time right this moment to delve into something proper, but I will leave off, for all one or two people who will read this, with this illustration of how the world looks through my eyes:
My other career is in writing fiction, and most of my science fiction has to do with a future on Earth, with climate change taken into account. The most recent story about that is one in which New York City has been flooded for over a thousand years. It is one where for the last millenium, there has never been even an instant where the city did not have cloud cover. It has been raining on New York for centuries, and I still consider it to be an optimistic piece.
It’s a story that makes me feel hopeful for the future because after a thousand years, the city is still there, and has been reinforced to withstand the flooding.
To me, a positive future in the year 3000 is one where humans still exist. Those are the stakes here, and reading back through previous posts, you should get some idea why I say that. Starting now, I will continue to make that case. We need to know how bad it can get, because only then can we respond appropriately.