[MCN] If Only We Could Be As Anxious About Climate Change As We Can Be About Nuclear Catastrophe

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Thu Jun 13 19:02:48 EDT 2019

If Only We Could Be As Anxious About Climate Change As We Can Be About Nuclear Catastrophe <https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEDaxH0vJ54mNzVlYpzQ_lnEqFQgEKg0IACoGCAowuLUIMNFnMInmAg?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen>
By now, an army of internet fact-checkers has picked over the successful HBO miniseries Chernobyl, meticulously cataloging the places where the show ...
Slate <https://news.google.com/publications/CAAqBggKMLi1CDDRZw?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen>
2 hours ago

“Children are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, as their bodies are less able to adapt to heat than adults, and they must rely on others to help keep them safe.”
<<https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/print_heat-deaths-2016.pdf <https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/print_heat-deaths-2016.pdf>>>


“Our sweat-based cooling mechanism is crude; beyond a certain combination of high temperature and humidity, it fails. To be outside and exposed to such an environment for any length of time soon becomes a death sentence.

“And that environment is spreading. A death zone is creeping over the surface of Earth, gaining a little more ground each year. 

As an analysis published this week in Nature Climate Change shows, since 1980, these temporary hells on Earth have opened up hundreds of times to take life (C. Mora et al. Nature Clim. Change http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3322 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3322>; 2017). At present, roughly one-third of the world’s population lives for about three weeks a year under such conditions. If greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise unchecked, that figure could climb, exposing almost three-quarters of the population by the end of the century.

“The analysis also reveals that even aggressive reductions in emissions will lead the number of deadly heatwaves to soar in the coming decades. Cities including London, New York, Tokyo and Sydney have all seen citizens die from the effects of excessive heat. By 2100, people in the tropics could be living in these death zones for entire summers. It’s true that warmer winters will save lives further north. And those living in urban environments may find ways to adapt to the new norm of extreme heat. 

“But, if the researchers are correct, the politics of Pruitt and those who try to hold him to account will seem quaint and anachronistic to our grandchildren. For they will live in a world in which most will see the environment less as something to protect, and more as something to protect themselves and their families from.”

Nature 546, 452 (22 June 2017) doi:10.1038/546452a

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