How seriously should we take global warming?
Last year New York Magazine published an article by David Wallace-Wells that said we should take it very seriously. Once the arctic permafrost starts to melt and release 1.8 trillion tons of now entrapped carbon, he wrote, it's going to get really nasty. More droughts that turn agricultural areas into deserts, seriously rising sea levels, people all over dying from the heat and a planet that's either uninhabitable or close to it. All coming in less than 90 years.
Well, he could be wrong. Or he could be right. None of us really know. And since this phenomenon is something we don't fully understand, it would seem wise to err on the side of caution.
The Trump administration appears to believe it's better to err on the side of recklessness with a booming economy that increases fossil fuel consumption. And most of the public appears to agree.
So what can we do? About the best any of us can do, within the law, is to opt for a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. Walk more and drive less. Turn the thermostats down two or three degrees. And do less shopping — a lot less shopping. Nearly all of those products involve greenhouse gas emissions in their production, transport and ultimate disposal.
Bad for the economy? Yes, it is! But the saner members of our species understand that survival of the planet should take priority over an economic boom that exacerbates our already serious environmental problems.