The big new today, of course, is not new news at all. We are all feeling the effects of climate change and thankfully it is a “hot” (pun intended) topic in the press. Graphs and headlines that show that 2012 was the hottest ever on record are scary but hopefully will squelch the skepticism that still exists about whether or not our own actions are contributing to last year’s extreme heat and drought. Scientists are convinced that last year’s record temps are caused by “natural variability but “many of them express doubt that such a striking new record would have been set without the backdrop of global warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases” (NY Times 1/9/13).
Tucked away in the Op-Ed section of the NY Times Thomas Friedman makes the analogy that we need to “tap the breaks” on climate change because we are “driving towards a cliff in a fog.” I won’t get political here but we all know that a cliff is a cliff and we can’t go over it-whether financially or environmentally. Mr. Friedman puts it eloquently: “Indeed we are actually taunting the two most powerful and merciless forces on the planet, the market and Mother Nature, at the same time. We’re essentially saying to both of them: “Hey, what’ve you got, baby? No interest rate rises? A little bitty temperature increase? Thats all you’ve got? I just hope we get our act tougher before the market and Mother Nature each show us what they’ve got.”