“….while the United States is having an unusually frigid month, Australia has been sweltering through record-breaking heat. Play had to be interrupted at the Australian Open tennis tournament when temperatures in Melbourne reached 109 degrees; one player said her plastic water bottle began to melt. The extreme heat came as officials reported that 2013 was the hottest year in Australia since record-keeping began more than a century ago….”

“…On the global scale, 2013 was “merely” the fourth-warmest or seventh-warmest on record, depending on whether you believe the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NASA. The agencies take slightly different approaches in analyzing and extrapolating the available data, which accounts for the discrepancy, but they agree on the big picture: It’s getting hotter….”

“…Why is it getting warmer? There’s still just one explanation that fits the available facts: Since the Industrial Revolution, the large-scale burning of fossil fuels has increased the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by an incredible 40 percent….Is there uncertainty in these predictions? Of course. But human-induced global warming is the only explanation that fits the evidence. Until someone comes up with a better theory, it is foolish to wager that the near-unanimous consensus of climate scientists is totally wrong….”

“…China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is not about to shut down its economic growth and risk political instability. India is not about to abandon its quest to catch up with China. In African nations such as Nigeria and Kenya, which have burgeoning populations and high growth rates, the smokestacks are beginning to puff away. The United States, Europe and Japan will do what they can, at the margins, without surrendering the comforts that industrialization provides….”

The gods of production and market competition have had their run. Time to dismantle the system and begin to think about health, wellness, and cooperation.

via Eugene Robinson: Global warming’s impact can’t be ignored – The Washington Post.

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