The climate is changing. Why does that matter to me and why should it matter to you? | PLOS SciComm #Auspol #Qldpol #NSWpol #StopAdani Join #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #TheDrum

This week, the Trump administration announced plans to create an ad hoc group of scientists to review the conclusion set forth in the National Climate.

Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, Texas Tech University

Despite rising levels of concern, however, political polarization continues to deepen. For years now, the best predictor of whether we agree with the simple facts on climate isn’t how much we know about the science, or how smart we are; it’s simply where we fall on the political spectrum.

So it’s no surprise that, just this week, we learned that the White House is planning to create a National Security Council committee to question the findings of recent federal climate science reports … in other words, the National Climate Assessment and the accompanying State of the Carbon Cycle report, which lays out the economic argument for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This appears to be yet another attempt at a partisan red team assessment of climate science, even though one might argue that the “red team” documents already exist: they are the very reports this administration approved and released!

But a thermometer doesn’t give us a different answer depending on how we vote. And just as gravity and evolution don’t cease to exist whether we “believe” in them or not, so too sea level does not rise or fall depending on whether a state goes blue or red.

The truth is this: Climate is changing. Humans are responsible. The impacts are here today.

Our choices matter; there isn’t any more time to waste. 

To care about a changing climate, we don’t have to be a scientist or an environmentalist or a liberal political activist.

We just have to be a human who wants this planet, the only one we have, to be a safe home for all of us.

Katharine Hayhoe is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. She is also a remarkable communicator who has received the American Geophysical Union’s climate communication prize, the Stephen Schneider Climate Communication award, and been named to a number of lists including Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and FORTUNE magazine’s world’s greatest leaders.

Katharine is currently a professor and directs the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.

— Read on

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