The headline in The Independent is as powerful as it is true:
Every second we waste denying climate change exists
is time we steal from the next generation
who will suffer the terrible consequences
"Time we steal from the next generation" indeed. Our relentless and rapacious exploitation of the Earth, our one and only biosphere, will leave it gravely diminished for future generations. And, by 'future generations' I mean our grandchildren and their kids. This is not some vague, theoretical construct we can easily dismiss. A lot of these children are already born. We buy them gifts, invite them over to visit us, collect photographs and such.
We would never think of causing them harm or ruining their future and yet we do just that. We've already done a lot and we're content to do more, much more. We elect governments and leaders who are unrepentant petro-pimps and, by our votes, we are fully complicit.
Our planet is being destroyed. But it is not only the forests and the oceans, the wildlife and the Arctic sea ice that is being wiped out – soon it will be the people, too.
The Lancet has today published a report that lays bare the devastating impact climate change will have on populations across Europe. Between 1981 and 2010, extreme weather events killed about 3,000 people a year.
According to the research, this will increase 50 times to an estimated 152,000 people who will die in weather-related disasters every year between 2071 and 2100.
There are people alive today who will witness these deaths. I could be one of them – in 2071, I would be approaching my 86th birthday. Climate change is not a far-off problem of the future. It is happening right now – and if we do not take action, our lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren, will be put at risk.
152,000 Euros a year. That's for starters. It doesn't include secondary deaths from knock on effects such as famine and war, resource wars in particular. Gwynne Dyer observes in his book, "Climate Wars," that war, not climate change, will be the big killer.
Donald Trump’s favourite golf course will need to be underwater before he starts to pay attention to the environmental havoc he has played such a pertinent role in. But by then, it will be too late.
As our European neighbours enter their fifth day of a blistering heatwave, as Portugal mourns more than 60 people killed in its worst forest fires in recorded history and as Cornwall cleans up after a mid-summer flood, we must heed the warning signs.
Watch the NBC Nightly News clip posted at Politics and Its Discontents. This is America's "new normal." Ours is slightly less punishing, for now, but it's also here sure enough. Now ask yourself what your government is doing to meet this looming catastrophe? Do you think building bitumen pipelines is going to help? Why do we support a government that embraces nihilism? There must be something I'm missing.