Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On Common Dreams, eco-author Bill McKibben warns that the consequences of global warming will be devastating. A three-foot rise in ocean levels means 150 million people who live near the coast will be displaced. "That's more than the number of political refugees sent scurrying by the bloody century we've just endured," writes McKibben.

I am in danger of becoming a broken record, but I think the challenge will be to keep us focused on this issue. The problem with insidious catastrophes is that we do not have a media model to keep up the pressure. Yes, there was a report that the levees would break and New Orleans would look as it does now. But until the disaster occurs, you don't have the visuals on TV that keep people riveted to the tube, demanding action.

No one can prove that any one hurricane like Katrina is the direct result of global warming. But the increase in dangerous weather is undeniable and even the naysayers are running out of excuses.

In just the past few weeks, scientists discovered the error in the way temperatures were read that skeptics relied on to argue global warming is a myth. Soon even the diehards who cling to corporate-funded research to argue that humans are not part of the problem will be forced to face reality.

McKibben warns us that continuing to ignore taking action to slow climate change will mean that more people die and are displaced. We have already waited far too long to act decisively.

Time to get those oil men (and women - little Condi sat on the board of Chevron board of directors) out of the White House.


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