First Click: Doing something about climate change is getting easier

June 25th, 2015


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.

Five stories to start your day

  1. So it's come to this: Bill Nye explains climate change with emoji

    It seems like the longer that certain elements of society deny the existence of climate change, the more scientists have to use ever-simpler arguments to get their point across. A decade ago we were looking at detailed studies and charts to prove the Earth is getting warmer, and now we're here: Bill Nye breaking things down with emoji.

  2. Why Circa failed

    A front page led by the day’s biggest news. A selection of stories, chosen by editors, arranged more or less by importance. And inside, a bundle of sections highlighting various subjects: arts and entertainment, business, technology, and health. That describes a newspaper, the beloved but fading institution that has spent the past decade hollowing itself out. But it also describes Circa, the news app that announced today it’s shutting down. And in those similarities lay the seeds of its failure.

  3. French taxi drivers lock down Paris in huge anti-Uber protest

    French taxi drivers today blocked roads to airports and train stations in Paris, as part of a nationwide protest against Uber. Thousands of drivers are expected to participate in today's strike in the French capital and other major cities, where tensions between taxi unions and private car services are running high. Protestors burned tires and turned over cars along major thoroughfares, and there have been reported scuffles between taxi drivers and other chauffeurs. Police in riot gear intervened at one point with tear gas, Reuters reports.

  4. Check out Kacey Musgraves' Taylor Swift diss track

    The notoriously passive-aggressive Taylor Swift is getting a dose of her own medicine this week. Or at least, she probably is. Country starlet Kacey Musgraves dropped her sophomore album Pageant Material yesterday. And on the track "Good Ol' Boys Club" and there's a not-so-veiled dig at Swift.

  5. Warehouse fined $2.2 million after testing employee DNA to catch a rogue pooper

    An Atlanta warehouse overstepped the bounds of the law in its quest to discover a mystery pooper, according to a ruling by a Federal circuit court in Atlanta this week. The case began when the warehouse, run by Atlas Logistics Group, began finding piles of excrement in the public workspace, and was forced to investigate who might be behind the string of mysterious crappings. Based on the scene of the crime, the company suspected an inside job, but it had no firm evidence aside from the poop itself.

Bear of the day