A draft of the fifth National Climate Assessment has been released, and it details the horrifying ways in which the United States, and the rest of the world, are already having to constantly deal with climate disasters. And while the report warns that the worst is yet to come, it also provides some hope by saying that we can still avoid the worst from climate change IF we take action. But that’s a big IF, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains.
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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
The draft National climate Assessment for the United States has been released. The final report’s gonna be coming out sometime next year, but this report has some very terrifying news for the United States and of course for the rest of the world. But this is a national climate assessment. So it really is mostly dealing with what’s happening here in the United States. And one of the more terrifying things that they found was that warming, climate change, global warming here in the United States, um, is actually happening faster than it is in the rest of the world. So we right here in the good US of a are experiencing the effects of climate change. Uh, I wouldn’t say worse than everybody else, but worse than most because we’ve got our own little greenhouse bubble over us here in the United States is basically what this report is telling us. That’s horrifying. Like our average temperatures are 2.5 degrees higher than the rest of the world. Uh, comparatively to other points in time.
Terrible. And of course we do see the effects. We see the floods, we see the droughts, we see the wildfires, we see the hurricanes. We see all of these things happening. We see the sea level rising. We see the shoreline eroding. And the report also point, well, you know what? I don’t have to paraphrase it. Let me read it. Americans are feeling the effects of climate change in their everyday lives as intensifying extreme events strain, public services and outdated infrastructure. As climate risk continue to increase in scale and frequency, multiple climate hazards and cascading climate impacts are disrupting essential societal systems in every part of the country. The things Americans value most are at risk. Many of the harmful impacts that people across the country are already experiencing will worsen as warming increases and new risks will emerge. The United States, the report says, has warmed 68% faster than the planet as a whole.
There’s good news. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but there is good news. This report is not just screaming at everybody, Oh my God, the world is on fire. You people messed up the planet, we’re all doomed. That is not what the report is telling us. The report is telling us that, listen, we’ve hit the point where we kind of have to live with climate change, at least for now. There’s even worse things coming on the horizon. We see them, we know them. We can predict them with alarming accuracy. They are coming, but we can stop them. Dramatic reductions, even actually smaller reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions just in this country
Can push those horrible events off every little bit. This report tells us matters. Even tiny reductions will change the severity, intensity and frequency of those bad things on the horizon. In short, every little bit helps. And the more we do, the more it helps, right? We can do a little, we can help a little. We can do a lot. We can help a lot. And I know a lot of people, one probably aren’t even watching this cuz it’s climate change. But two, a lot of people think that we’ve gotta have these massive reductions and we do. I’m one of those people that has said plenty of times like, Oh, we’ve taken action but it’s not enough.