Why This Isn’t ‘the New Normal’ for Climate Change

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What that means is that we have not, at all, arrived at a new normal. It is more like we’ve taken one step out on the plank off a pirate ship. Perhaps because of the exhausting false debate about whether climate change is “real,” too many of us have developed a misleading impression that its effects are binary. But global warming is not “yes” or “no,” it is a function that gets worse over time as long as we continue to produce greenhouse gas. And so the experience of life in a climate transformed by human activity is not just a matter of stepping from one stable environment into another, somewhat worse one, no matter how degraded or destructive the transformed climate is. The effects will grow and build as the planet continues to warm: from one degree to one-point-five to almost certainly two degrees and beyond. The last few…

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