Quite a few years ago, Jim Hansen, described as “a leading NASA climatologist” was at a panel to discuss global warming's significance for humanity. He is reported as saying “Humans have taken over as the major forcing of long-term climate change.”1

Who do you suppose countered with:

I don’t agree, frankly, that we are in a real-time planetary emergency

Step forward Andrew Revkin!

Of course, anyone who says anything in public might live to regret specifics, but I was prompted to write this post by something I wrote in 2006, not one word of which I regret 16 years 1 month on.

The pickle, to put it mildly, in which we find ourselves today is a direct result of failing to take the problem seriously. In the week of Jim Lovelock's death, that Revkin was still doing that decades after the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide had been unequivocally demonstrated is, I think, part of the problem.

  1. Let's not worry that “forcing” has a very specific meaning in this context. 

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