For many years now, scientists have predicted that increasing the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the earth's atmosphere will bring about more extreme weather: Droughts, heavy rainfall, floods, heatwaves. And wouldn't you know it? Over the last year, regions around the world have been wracked by each -- and often with a severity not seen before in recorded history. And yet, still we fail to act to address the issue -- a fact that clearly not only troubles, but astounds the former Vice President Al Gore.
Gore delivered the keynote address at this year's Games for Change festival, and, of course, he took a few minutes to discuss climate change. Watch his take on the link between extreme weather and climate change above. I, for one, am glad that Gore dispenses with the "you can't attribute any single event to climate change" niceties like those Bill McKibben so ably skewered in his recent Washington Post op-ed. It's plenty clear that a giant wrench has been thrown in the global climate system, and that it's already causing a number of devastating malfunctions.
Haggling over whether or not each of those events would have occurred or have been as severe misses the point: Scientists are as certain as they can be that human activity is warming the planet. And we're most certainly going to see more extreme weather like this down the line. Gore and McKibben are right -- if we can't even look at the weather events of the past 12 months and realize that we're screwing something up, maybe it is a lost cause after all ...
More on Al Gore and Climate Change
Al Gore Gives a Climate Science Update at TED Conference
John Kerry on Climate Bill: "Suppose Al Gore Is Wrong"