Friday the groundhog called for an early spring. The irony wasn't lost on the New York Times, which quipped: "But in this winter that almost wasn't, that hardly seemed an accomplishment in prognostication - an untrained house cat could most likely have said the same." Even Wolf Blitzer said we're in for a lot of early springs for the next thousand years. But the Bush administration is still in hibernation, hiding from this stark reality staring humanity in the face.
The world's scientists made exceedingly clear on Friday that human activities are wrecking our climate... with "unequivocal" certainty. I wept as I read the IPCC summary report in my hotel room and the urgency of this problem really sunk in. I suspect that a lot of people felt pretty numb hearing about the implications for our future. To prevent even the most conservative estimates of what we're likely in for will be a task requiring our full attention. To prevent the most dire predictions -- which are likely too conservative according to the latest science -- will be imperative to protect life as we know it. These scientists are the most cautious group of people on the planet, and they have just provided politicians and the rest of us with more than sufficient reason to act quickly to reverse our course.
That's why the White House needs to come out of its hole in the ground. The New York Times reported that Bush administration officials "asserted Friday that the United States had played a leading role in studying and combating climate change," and quoted Energy Secretary Sam Bodman stating that "We are a small contributor to the overall, when you look at the rest of the world, so it's really got to be a global solution."
How stupid do they think we are? We're five percent of the global population and contribute a quarter of all global warming pollution. This administration is fast-tracking dirty coal plants and has refused to limit CO2 emissions, let alone encourage conservation and efficiency measures that could reduce pollution and benefit our economy along the way.
No more words Mr. President. It's time for action. Enough posturing, half measures and stalling. Enough token grants for further research. We know too much already not to have addressed this issue with every ounce of American ingenuity and leadership.
If you were told your children were in harms way, you would do something, you'd do everything necessary to protect them. Well, that time has come. A planetary emergency is upon us. We must absorb that warning, we must hear those words and we must act now.