A school bus goes up a hill, then down. The hilltop is the tipping point. Earth is the bus, but with no driver, just quarreling teenagers, called governments. And no brakes.
A hundred years from now, looking back, the only question that will appear important about the historical moment in which we now live is the question of whether or not we did anything to arrest climate change.
Everything else—the financial crisis, the life or death of the euro, authoritarianism or democracy in China and Russia, the Great Stagnation or the innovation renaissance, democratisation and/or political Islam in the Arab world, Newt or Mitt or another four years of Barack—all this will fade into insignificance beside the question of whether we managed to do anything about human industrial civilisation changing the climate of Planet Earth.
"It's 3:23 in the morning, and I'm awake
because my great, great, grandchildren won't let me sleep.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams
what did you do, while the planet was plundered?
what did you do, when the earth was unravelling?
surely you did something when the seasons started failing
as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
what did you do
"Our children and grandchildren are going to be mad at us for burning all this oil. It took the Earth 500 million years to create the stuff we're burning in 200 years. Renewable energy sources are where we need to be headed." -- Prof. Jack Edwards
Since few people actually spend much time in greenhouses, perhaps we should call it 'The Parked Car Effect.' We all know what happens when you park your car in the hot sun with the windows closed. Light enters, hits the upholstery, which heats up and warms the interior air. But the heat can't escape, so the interior just gets hotter and hotter. Hot enough to kill.
Climate change is like one of those Hollywood disaster movies that pit obstructionists against ordinary people who become heroes. Those movies often end with a kiss. We don't know how the climate change story will end—will our grandchildren enjoy some end-of-movie kisses?
"We will see it, our kids will live it, and there's a question of whether our grandkids will make it through or not."
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – The Lorax by Dr. Suess
Future generations "will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted." —Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.
‘The danger is not to the planet but to our civilization on the planet. This is the real challenge of climate change.’ – Adam Frank, writer for National Public Radio.
'If you dismiss all climate science as a hoax, I can’t help you. That’s between you & your beach house — and your kids, whose future you’re imperiling.' —Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist.
“We can restore the climate of the 1980s by 2070. It won’t require a miracle or big sacrifices, just the will and policies to do it.” — Peter Fiekowsky, physicist, business owner, and volunteer for Citizens Climate Lobby.
"Whether the climate is changing or not and whether people are responsible or not, these children deserve a clean and green future. Lets give it to them!" – Dave Finnigan, Founder & Director of Climate Change is Elementary.
'Climate change: the single biggest thing humans have ever done to this planet. One thing must get bigger: our movement to stop it.' — Bill McKibben, environmental author, activist, and founder of 350.org
“It is no longer enough to love, feed, shelter, clothe and educate a child – not when the future itself is in danger. Being conscientious parents today also means working to protect the nation and the planet – now, before it’s too late.”—Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, 1988
"The world is perfectly on track to six degrees Celsius increasing the temperature, which is very bad news. And everybody, even school children, know this will have catastrophic implications for all of us."—Fatih Birol, IEA
'In a bizarre sense, to deny global warming is to question the ability of the Air Force to put the right sensor on a heat seeking missile.' — Dr. Richard Alley, climate scientist at Penn State.