It’s been three decades; June 23, 1988 to be exact when NASA climate scientist James Hansen issued an ominous warning: Human-caused global warming was underway, and would grow far worse with time.
He made three distinct points that day before the Senate energy committee:
“The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now,” Hansen said.
Since that proclamation of the arrival of global warming, there has been much debate over whether it was indeed true.
Turns out Hansen was right. When he spoke, 1988 was on track to become the hottest year of all-time. Since then, that record has been broken six more times.
In fact, NOAA reports that since that fateful day 30 years ago, the lower 48 states have warmed at a rate of 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit per century, and the globe has warmed at a rate of 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit per century.
Back then global warming was our future. Now we’re living in it.
And the consequences aren’t great. Here a just a few according to an Axios newsletter post sent out June 23, 2018:
Axios interestingly compares the planet’s climate system to a giant ship. It can’t be turned around in an instant. It takes time and patience. Even if we take aggressive action to prevent a worst case global warming scenario, we’ll still be stuck with decades of rising sea levels and extreme weather events.
At this point, we’re in damage control. And, scientists say the time is NOW to take advantage of the small window still available to make a change by:
Global warming is here and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s our fault. It’s getting worse. But actions now, both big and small, may one day have a positive impact on this problem in our distant future. We can hope.