The climate has no pronouns

The Guardian says the climate disaster is here. Not on the way, but here.

“We have built a civilization based on a world that doesn’t exist anymore,” as Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, puts it.

The world has already heated up by around 1.2C, on average, since the preindustrial era, pushing humanity beyond almost all historical boundaries. Cranking up the temperature of the entire globe this much within little more than a century is, in fact, extraordinary, with the oceans alone absorbing the heat equivalent of five Hiroshima atomic bombs dropping into the water every second.

Until now, human civilization has operated within a narrow, stable band of temperature. Through the burning of fossil fuels, we have now unmoored ourselves from our past, as if we have transplanted ourselves onto another planet. The last time it was hotter than now was at least 125,000 years ago, while the atmosphere has more heat-trapping carbon dioxide in it than any time in the past two million years, perhaps more.

So the thing is, we didn’t evolve to live in this climate. We evolved to live in a different climate, which is now gone. Permanently gone.

“We are conducting an unprecedented experiment with our planet,” said Hayhoe. “The temperature has only moved a few tenths of a degree for us until now, just small wiggles in the road. But now we are hitting a curve we’ve never seen before.”

And it’s swimming in oil, and we have no brakes, and there’s a cliff just past the curve.

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