Thousands of the world’s best scientists — working through the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — have intensified their alarm that humanity faces worse peril from deadly superstorms, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, rising sea level, melting icecaps, disease, hunger, poverty and the gap between the rich and poor, all because of rising global temperatures.
On Monday, the IPCC released a 32-volume, 2,610-page report based on more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies. The secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization called it “the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline.” Around the world, more than 100 governments unanimously approved the scientist-written executive summary of the 2014 report.
In the face of this massive conclusion, will West Virginia’s coal industry continue claiming that global warming is a myth, and that fumes from fossil fuels don’t form a “greenhouse” layer in the sky that traps heat?
Already, the Heartland Institute and other far-right groups have scheduled a July 9 symposium in Las Vegas to “prove” that climate change isn’t happening, or isn’t caused by human carbon emissions.
To us, they’re like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
Leaders of the IPCC voiced many warnings, such as fear that coastal regions are becoming more vulnerable to billion-dollar calamities like Superstorm Sandy.
“We’re all sitting ducks,” Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University said.
World Red Cross leader Maarten van Aalst warned: “The horrible is something quite likely, and we won’t be able to do anything about it.”
The report says harmful effects from global heat-up already are snowballing and “could get out of control.” Secretary of State John Kerry said the world must curtail air pollution because “the costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
Will polluting industries ridicule this new international scientific warning — or will they stay quiet and hope that societies do nothing, as usual?