This is the cover of the report that was released by the The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) on Tuesday. If you click on the cover you can get the report.
You should have read a headline in your newspaper that was as strong and provocative as my headline above because that’s how strong and provocative this news is.
But your dying legacy newspaper didn’t get it. Neither did ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, HNN or any other major, mainstream outlet in the United States. If you’re getting your news from those sources and acting accordingly, then you my friend, are already toast. Burnt toast. Somebody needs to spell things out in plain, easy to understand language that leaves you with no doubt about what the real news you need to know is.
And if nobody else is going to step up and do it, well then, here I am.
Time’s up folks. We don’t have but a handful of years to respond with a drastic, all out, game-changing World War II like response or you will have doomed your children to a disaster-filled miserable existence from which they will not be able to recover or escape. Is that plain enough? Happy to help.
Don’t look for this story on the cover of Time magazine. I know because I’m a subscriber. But if you go to their web site and dig by searching you’ll find that they said this yesterday:
a new report by several federal agencies underscores the truths that too often risk getting lost in politics: global warming is real, it’s happening now, and if we don’t act soon, the consequences are likely to be catastrophic.
Here’s the way the rest of the legacy media reported this story yesterday with links to their none-too-urgent coverage – courtesy of my FaceBook friends:
When a reporter asked “So, do we have a handful of years, a handful of decades or a handful of generations to stave off the worst consequences” the scientist at the microphone flat-out refused to answer. In fact, no one associated with the report during the press conference was willing to give the kind of strong, powerful soundbite that will play in every headline, every webcast, every TV and radio broadcast and wake people up.
I understand their scientific reluctance to say anything that sounds definitive and might be twisted, but at the same time they missed a golden opportunity to put the reality of their report in terms the average citizen will grok.
If you want to stop the “David Letterman vs Sarah Palin” controversy from chewing up all the news oxygen available, the sound bite: “Climate change affects you and the things you care about” is not going to get that job done.
Until we told people in no uncertain terms that cigarette smoking kills you, we didn’t turn the tide on that issue. Until we tell people that they have already run out of time and drastic action is needed right now, then we will not be telling them a truth that will motivate them to the very action we need.
Who is going to tell the people that their “house is on fire” instead of telling them that “all the conditions for conflagration exist?”
A report main finding: Heat waves will become more frequent and intense, increasing threats to human health and quality of life.
Climate Change report finding: Reduced summer runoff & increasing water demands will create greater competition for water supplies in some regions, especially in the West.
Report finding: Rising water temperatures & ocean acidification threaten coral reefs & the rich ecosystems they support.
Report finding: Insect infestations and wildfires are already increasing and are projected to increase further in a warming climate.
Report finding: Local sea-level rise of over three feet on top of storm surges will increasingly threaten homes and other coastal infrastructure.
But I didn’t see even a single mention of any of these scientific facts on the local news here in the Los Angeles, California market mentioning the release of the report or its findings. Nothing in the Los Angeles Times or in the Daily Breeze our failed local newspaper. They were too busy getting ready for the Lakers parade.
And it’s not just the mainstream media that’s failed us here. It’s local governments like mine here in Torrance California, who also aren’t doing their jobs keeping up with this news and responding with the sense of urgency this climate crisis – and it already is a crisis – demands.
How many of our city councilman watched the press conference Tuesday or have read the report? How many of our politically appointed Environmental Commissioners are on top of this? How about Linda Cessna, the woman in Torrance city government charged with overseeing all Environmental programs along with many other responsibilities in her role as Deputy Community Development Director? How about the Linda Cessna in YOUR town?
If you live in the Southwest of the United States you can click here to download the Union of Concerned Scientists backgrounder on what the new climate change report means for you.
Otherwise I advise you to read Joe Romm’s piece on Climate Progress that has many more links including links for you to download the entire PowerPoint presentation with all the science.
After you do a little homework you’ll be a local expert on this subject and then you can start asking the tough questions of your elected officials, city staff and local journalists.
If you and I don’t do it, no one else will. That’s been proven by now.
The clock is ticking… and it sounds pretty damn loud to me. Can you hear it too?