Come morning, I throw my covers aside, throw my legs over the edge of the bed, turn on my bedside lamp, turn on my bedside radio for a first dose of the daily news, then pull on some clothes and head for the kitchen to get a pot of coffee going. That done, it’s time to turn on my computer and pick my way through the latest reports on all things climate.
Put another way, I start my climate-oriented day by doing my bit to heat the planet just a little more, simply because everything from my bedside lamp and radio to my kitchen stove and computer are powered by electricity.
Electricity where I live is powered by coal. So, here I sit, typing these words into a coal-fired computer, sipping coffee heated on a coal-fired stove, listening to news and music on a coal-fired radio, effectively pushing atmospheric CO2 density higher than the normal background levels that have kept the planet from being too cold to support Life. It boils down to my own daily creation of too much of an otherwise good thing.
I do all this knowing full well that I’m adding to the increasing risk for things that many people care about deeply, including children going outdoors to play and adults going outdoors to work. A team led by the University of Hawaii’s Camilo Mora cites evidence that “it is unlikely that human physiology will evolve the necessary higher heat tolerance, highlighting that outdoor conditions will remain deadly.”
Mora has since said, “What we’re understanding is that the human body is actually very sensitive to heat, and that suggests pretty much everybody’s at risk. ” He went on to warn that “This is coming at our doors right now.”
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