The Truth is Powerful
Stopping climate change is the ultimate moon shot
As a pandemic hijacked the nation’s attention, we pushed aside other, even bigger problems. But now that COVID-19 is being cornered, the crisis of climate change is returning to page one.
The threat of a rapidly warming planet is actually harder to deal with. It can’t be fixed with a vaccine. Slower-moving, it’s easier to put off addressing the impending disaster. And worldwide in scope, it’s politically hard for America to step forward. After all, the United States produces 13 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions, but China is responsible for 26 percent.
Left unchecked, however, climate change will visit catastrophe on places where millions of Americans live. It will unleash global mass migrations that are dangerous and difficult to control. And it will pile on any number of medical crises.
Some health emergencies are already upon us. The wildfires in the western U.S. set off an epidemic of respiratory ailments. The surge of heat waves, floods and storms — said to be churned by higher temperatures — has produced growing numbers of injuries and deaths.
Hotter and wetter conditions are spawning huge populations of mosquitoes and ticks. These insects spread such infectious diseases as malaria, Lyme disease and West Nile virus.
Extreme weather […]