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    • I am a rabid environmentalist who is very worried about climate change. So this article immediately caught my attention and raised my hackles. I was ready to do battle with the author, thinking he is a global warming denier. But then I read the article...

      And I was heartened to read some positive things about climate change that seem to have been exaggerated or at least misunderstood.

      Even one of my biggest heroines, Greta Thunberg......

       Says Thunberg in her new book, “Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.” 

      The author of this article has been actively researching and writing about climate change for over 17 years. He says,

      Over the last four years, my organization, Environmental Progress, has worked with some of the world’s leading climate scientists to prevent carbon emissions from rising. So far, we’ve helped prevent emissions increasing the equivalent of adding 24 million cars to the road. 

      And he also says:

      I also care about getting the facts and science right and have in recent months corrected inaccurate and apocalyptic news media coverage of fires in the Amazon and fires in California, both of which have been improperly presented as resulting primarily from climate change. 

      Journalists and activists alike have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public. There is good evidence that the catastrophist framing of climate change is self-defeating because it alienates and polarizes many people. And exaggerating climate change risks distracting us from other important issues including ones we might have more near-term control over.

      And another researcher:

      “While many species are threatened with extinction,” said Stanford’s Ken Caldeira, “climate change does not threaten human extinction... I would not like to see us motivating people to do the right thing by making them believe something that is false.”

      And in closing....

      Happily, there is a plenty of middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial.

    • Yes, all those 'we have X time before Y happens' are deeply unhelpful. Either people interpret that as 'great, so we don't have to do anything until X', or 'Y is inevitable, so no point in doing anything'.

      The truth is that any amount of CO2 eliminated or not released is helpful. At any time. Whatever happens will happen in degrees, and anything we do to make things better, will, well, make things better. Conversely, anything we fail to do, at any point, will make things that much worse. How much worse or how much better is determined by a continuum of our actions.

    • I don’t know why we humans are often terrified of air travel but not of cars, terrified of vaccines but not of pain killers.

      I often cringe when I hear California’s fires are blamed on climate change. It may be a factor, but so is the prevention of natural fires, causing the forests get huge and full of dead fall, so they burn so hot we can’t put them out. Also aging, underfunded electrical infrastructure.

      But those things don’t seem to be terrifying like climate change and the thought of it causing civilization’s collapse is, so we imagine exaggerated things and ignore the things that don’t terrify us.

      I wish our unbelievable rate of trash production was terrifying.

    • I disagree.

      When Exxon pays scientists who will dispute climate change, when the Koch Brothers spend millions on a successful disinformation campaign that ended a bipartisan agreement to fight climate change ten years ago (remember the ad with Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich?), and when average citizens believe whatever lies are told by politicians when the truth is easily verifiable, I think you have to face the reality that “guerilla tactics” of exaggeration are necessary to have any chance of real change resulting.

      From all the Presidential debates so far, can you tell me what the candidates are specifically going to do to end the Climate Crisis? I have no clue and the fact that they refused to have a separate debate on it is telling.

      I think rational measured articles like this only weaken the urgency of the issue. Will the world end? Maybe not. Will lots of people die or deal with preventable suffering from poor harvests, wildfires, loss of land from flooding because of continual inaction and half measures by World leaders? Yes.

    • Young voters are notorious for not voting. And seniors are the demographic most likely to vote. So it will be interesting to see how the numbers break down by demographic for the Iowa primary.