As Climate Impacts Accelerate, Speed of Mitigation Becomes Key

July 15, 2014 8:47 PM

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As Climate Impacts Accelerate, Speed of Mitigation Becomes Key

Bad news can be paralyzing, and that's a problem when it comes to climate change. The steady drumbeat of bad news can numb us. We've recently learned that a large part of the West Antarctica ice sheet is disintegrating and cannot be stopped, with ten feet or more of sea-level rise now inevitable. More recently we learned the bad news from the US climate assessment, confirming that climate impacts have moved "firmly into the present," with costs mounting quickly -- more than $100 billion in the U.S. alone in 2012-and a near certainty that things will get worse quickly. At the global level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sent the same message.

In the face of this news, the U.S. risks moving from climate denial to climate despair--that citizens can do little to stop impacts, that government doesn't have the political courage needed to adequately address the problem, and that industry genius will falter and not develop the technologies to s...

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