The question on this Fourth of July, with the nation's capital recovering from an unprecedented wind and lightning storm, an unprecedented heat wave, and mass electrical outages, is this: How can scrappy, upbeat Americans look forward to a future as bright as the past unless we grapple with our own “zone of extraordinary opportunity or misery,” a phrase that appears in Royal Dutch Shell’s 2011 report Signals and Signposts? It’s time for a second set of Founding Fathers to step forward, or a first set of Founding Mothers...
The atmosphere, henceforth and anon, is a joint venture between nature and human industry. “All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be,” Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research wrote earlier this year. It’s no longer accurate to call extreme meteorological events natural disasters because our atmosphere is no longer entirely natural.
We need daily reminders of this. Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors raised in midtown Manhattan in 2009 the climate-change equivalent of the famous National Debt Clock: A three-story-tall running estimate of the metric tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The so-called Carbon Counter was developed in conjunction with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the George Institute of Technology, and still lives at the advisory’s website, where it publishes its investment research. Unfortunately, the group’s three- year contract recently ended and the counter billboard came down in June. The company would not disclose the cost of running it.
...This isn’t an endorsement of the U.S. CAP members’ old proposals; it’s encouragement for them to spend several million dollars a year in advertising money on clearly branded electronic signs all over the United States that tastefully suggest every day that our way of life is creating self-destructive long-term risks for our way of life.
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