Nicholas Goldberg: Americans don’t care about climate change. Here’s how to wake them up about the urgency.
The latest scientific report indicates that we’re in a global warming era, and we’re at a point where we need to make rapid, dramatic changes to reverse the trend, according to Nicholas Goldberg.
(CNN) — Let’s get a few things straight.
On one level, climate change is a problem. On another level, if the climate were to get much worse, we might be facing very real human-induced problems.
But let’s face it: We’re not.
That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true. When President Barack Obama talks about climate change or when he speaks on the subject in public, he’s talking about the effects of climate change, not the cause.
There’s not a single scientist around today who says the world is actually facing serious problems — but there are a lot of scientists who say that it’s time we move quickly to stop the global-warming emissions of the last generation.
Now, with that in mind, let’s return to the world of climate science and what it means for us.
A few caveats
A few caveats:
First, I am not a scientist, but I understand the science as well as anyone in the profession. I am just providing a broad sense of what it means to understand the science of climate change.
Second, the climate-change debate is still in its infancy. What I described above is what most scientists believe today — and those views are changing rapidly.
What I am describing in this article is the consensus of the most highly regarded scientists at present. It’s the view of 97% of climate scientists.
Third, when I say “I understand the science” and then say “most scientists,” that means that I’ve studied the field carefully for more than a decade and have an exceptional background in this field. This is not a view shared by many of the climate scientists.
All right, what is the science?
The science is about the effect of climate change on the planet. It doesn’t matter who started the discussion, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a question of carbon