Climate change you can believe in
The New York Times
Despite Donald Trump and everything else going on, climate change was “the most important story of the year,” said David Leonhardt. Extreme weather made our planet’s rapid transformation “hard to ignore.” Freakishly powerful hurricanes flooded the Southeast, wildfires ravaged the West Coast, and prolonged droughts and record heat scorched Asia, Canada, and Europe—with forests burning even north of the Arctic Circle. “For a long time, many people thought it was a mistake to use the weather as evidence of climate change”: Point to hot weather, and someone will inevitably hold up a snowball in rebuttal. Yet while weather is indeed subject to “a lot of randomness,” firsthand experience is our best bet to move public opinion. Only 40 percent of Americans called the quality of the environment “good” or “excellent” in a Gallup poll this year—“the lowest level in almost a decade.” In another recent poll, 66 percent of Americans said they wanted to see action combating climate change. Scientific studies have long offered a dire forecast for our planet but haven’t roused enough people into action. But now that we’re actually experiencing alarming weather extremes, Americans may finally be coming out of denial.