Accordingly funding must be earmarked at an early stage Climate change is

Accordingly funding must be earmarked at an early

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decades between the initial steps toward testing a technology and its large-scale application. Accordingly, funding must be earmarked at an early stage. Climate change is linear – any reduction of emissions is necessary to limit immense suffering Wallace-Wells 19 (David Wallace-Wells is a National Fellow with the New America Foundation and is a deputy editor of New York Magazine, “The Cautious Case for Climate Optimism Believing in a comfortable future for our planet probably means some giant carbon- sucking machines,” New York Magazine, February 4, 2019, - wells.html) It’s not too late . In fact, it never will be . Whatever you may have read over the past year — as extreme weather brought a global heat wave and unprecedented wildfires burned through 1.6 million California acres and newspaper headlines declared, “Climate Change Is Here” — global warming is not binary. It is not a matter of “yes” or “no,” not a question of “fucked” or “not.” Instead, it is a problem that gets worse over time the longer we produce greenhouse gas , and can be made better if we choose to stop. Which means that no matter how hot it gets, no matter how fully climate change transforms the planet and the way we live on it, it will always be the case that the next decade could contain more warming, and more suffering , or less warming and less suffering . Just how much is up to us, and always will be. A century and a half after the greenhouse effect was first identified, and a few decades since climate denial and misinformation began muddying our sense of what scientists do know, we are left with a set of predictions that can appear falsifiable — about global temperatures and sea-level rise and even hurricane frequency and wildfire volume. And there are, it is true, feedback loops in the climate system that we do not yet perfectly understand and dynamic processes that remain mysterious. But to the extent that we live today under clouds of uncertainty about the future of climate change, those clouds are, overwhelmingly, not projections of collective ignorance about the natural world but of blindness about the human one, and they can be dispersed by human action. The question of how bad things will get is not, actually, a test of the science; it is a bet on human activity. How much will we do to forestall disaster and how quickly? These are the disconcerting, contradictory lessons of global warming, which counsels both human humility and human grandiosity, each drawn from the same perception of peril. There’s a name for those who hold the fate of the world in their hands, as we do — gods. But for the moment, at least, many of us seem inclined to run
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from that responsibility rather than embrace it. Or even admit we see it, though it sits in front of us as plainly as a steering wheel. That climate change is all-enveloping means that it targets us all and that we must all share in the responsibility so we do not all share in the suffering — at least not share in so suffocatingly much of it. Since I first began writing about climate a few years ago, I’ve been asked often whether I see any reason for optimism. The
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