Out Of The Holocene

Bill McKibben begrudingly welcomes a new era in climate change:

So far we’ve raised the temperature of the earth about one degree Celsius, and two decades ago it was hard to believe this would be enough to cause huge damage. But it was. We’ve clearly come out of the Holocene and into something else. Forty percent of the summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone; the ocean is 30 percent more acidic. There’s nothing theoretical about any of this any more. Since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 4 percent wetter than it used to be, which has loaded the dice for drought and flood. In my home country, 2011 smashed the record for multibillion-dollar weather disasters—and we were hit nowhere near as badly as some.

While the presidential candidates continue to dither, at least one up-and-comer is getting the message:

Environmental activist Bill McKibben applauded New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday for saying lessons learned from Sandy would include "the recognition that climate change is a reality." … "It’s actual experiences that change people’s minds, or let them really feel what’s going on. One wrecked subway system, I fear, equals a thousand academic studies," said McKibben, founder of the climate advocacy group 350.org.

Previous thoughts from Bill here.