Three Current Views on Warming
View number one: The combatant. This is An Inconvenient Sequel. Increasingly angry man argues and cajoles and negotiates to reduce the magnitude of global warming.
View number two: The angry survivor. This is a narrator in Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. The oceans have risen in two massive bursts caused by rapid ungrounding of major Antarctic glaciers, leaving New York a bizarre mesh of Venice and, well, New York. There is anger in how the elites survive as capital flies from the drowned coasts. Thomas Piketty and Al Gore meet together in a century to decry this future world.
View number three: The ostrich. “Now is not the time to discuss climate change” says our current EPA administrator. There is disaster on the move; let’s not discuss the cause or any means we have of reducing future disasters. Then there is disaster to survive, disaster to recover from, all preventing discussion of disasters to avoid. Somehow one doubts that the EPA is entirely focused on hurricane preparation; there is room for discussion. There is need for discussion. There is no need for dismissal and obfuscation, particularly from the head of the agency most directly charged with considering this problem.
And yet, look at what we have.
UPDATE 9/11. That view number three has caught the attention of a lot of commentators, for instance here at the New York Times, with the apropos statement “For scientists, drawing links between warming global temperatures and the ferocity of hurricanes is about as controversial as talking about geology after an earthquake.” And political cartoonists: