It’s happening, but we have no idea why


In recent weeks, we’ve learned that global carbon emissions rose last year, defying (optimistic) expectations that they had reached a peak. We also learned that no country on Earth is on track to fulfill its emissions-cutting commitments under the Paris climate treaty; that even if all of them somehow fulfill those commitments, nonetheless, their actions would still be insufficient to avert a two-degree increase in global temperatures; and that, in a two-degree warmer world, 150 million more people will die as a result of air pollution, than would in a 1.5-degree warmer one.

And as this flood of climate research revealed that humanity was (and is) hurtling toward an ecological holocaust of unprecedented proportions — one that can only be preempted by radical changes in our species’ use of fossil fuels — the top agency for environmental regulation, in the most powerful nation on the planet, was instructing its staffers to tell the public that there is no scientific consensus about “the role of human activity” in climate change, nor about “what we can do about it.”

That’s us. We’re that most powerful nation, and Trump’s EPA is that top agency that’s telling its staffers to lie to us.

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