First Click: Doing something about climate change is getting easier

June 25th, 2015

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For most people, climate change became an indisputable scientific fact around the year 2006. That’s when Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was released. While it’s fair to criticize the documentary for being infotainment, it’s irresponsible to deny the central argument: the risks from climate change are real and the overwhelming cause is humanity’s lust for fossil fuels.

Still, everyone has a brother-in-law in Texas or an aunt in Ohio for whom a preponderance of scientific evidence pales in comparison to their personal feels. Who hasn’t heard someone make the following quip just as soon as the temperature dips below normal: so much for global warming.

climate change gif bloomberg

Fortunately, the tools used to persuade climate deniers are getting simpler and simpler. On Tuesday, Bill Nye released a video explaining climate change with emoji. Yesterday, Bloomberg released a bunch of animated pictures that also debunk other theories. And as of last week, you can now tell 1.2 billion Roman Catholics that even the Pope says the man-made threat is real. But not everyone has to be on board.

Yesterday, 886 people in the Netherlands won a class-action lawsuit that forces the government to reduce the country’s greenhouse emissions. In a legal precedent, the court ruled that the state has a legal requirement to protect its citizens from the threat of climate change.

"The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts," the ruling said. "Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this."

Look, there will always be a fringe of Obama Birthers, 9/11 Truthers, and whatever you call Oliver Stone’s views on JFK. But as the Dutch proved, even a few acting locally can have global impact.


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