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Climate-change deniers often say that the climate has changed before, and they’re right. But maybe you ought to look at a graphic depiction of just what that climate change involves. The webcomic xkcd may look like the scrawls of a first-grader with its cast of stick figures and cartoonish props, but there is often deep thinking in the message it’s trying to get across.
We urge you to look at this graph of Earth’s Temperature Timeline, from the last great ice age in 20,000 B.C., to now, to not very far beyond, 2100, or about the time when humans born today will hopefully be still able to enjoy their retirement. You get to mark how greatly the world changed with just an additional 4 degrees in average temperature. It leaves to your imagination what changes will occur when the average temperature climbs another 4 degrees, but when you consider how we’ve gone from a mile of ice over Boston to city skylines, the changes should be severe.
The graph shows that the world is already nearly one degree warmer than it was two decades ago. Are our modern conveniences so important that we’re willing to risk never having a chance to keep the timeline growing past a few more decades?
On another unpleasant topic, I hope everyone survived Tax Day without having to pay too much through the nose. Regrettably, taxes are the price we pay for civilization.