CliMates Pilot Episode of CTI: Climate trend investigation

Attention all climate non-enthusiasts! We have an important message for you today.

What do prohibitive laws against drive-texting, increased number of divorces, reluctantly quitting smoking or not being able to drink your favorite red wine from Bordeaux have in common? The answer is climate change, its causes, its impacts, and its penetration of society that can be as unpredictable and gruesome as a Mike Tyson boxing match or a Miley Cyrus concert.

We have heard numerous times about the severe consequences of natural disasters – i.e. Sandy and Typhoon Parma – rising sea level – ask inhabitants of Tuvalu – and heightened global temperatures – was anyone in D.C. this summer?

Indeed, we have already witnessed these costly effects of climate change. Because climate change has not waited for an end to the mule-like recalcitrance of the international community in its implementation of meaningful policy in order to manifest itself. It cares as little about how long we will take to really address the problem as it does about the borders that separate our nation states. The debate over the science is clearly over: climate change is more and more evident, is and will be affecting us all in many ways.

And yet climate change is still not a popular issue to discuss, nor to tackle. Many politicians still avoid it. The press is often failing to cover it, climate-focused sections are being shut down all over the world (Le Monde, NYT). Most importantly, public opinion is in agreement with fighting climate change, but without demonstrating nor demanding the required sense of urgency. We still feel too far away from the issue, in time and in space.

Well, the distance most of us feel from the impacts and, more importantly, the solutions to climate change is much smaller than it appears. It’s time to look in your rear view mirrors because all of us have already been victims of some effect of climate change. And until society makes the adjustments so that we get pulled over and ticketed, it’s going to get worse.

Once every two weeks, in this blogstream, we will bring to you a discussion on one of society’s hot topics and explain why climate change either has or will have an impact on it. We will make an unexpected link between this anthropogenic phenomenon and some societal issue that maybe is more endearing to the public eye than a large thermal map highlighting the travels of hot air around the Caribbean islands. Alright that’s a bad example, as you like the Caribbean and the increased number of hurricanes may very well have made your winter break trip in 2011 to the Bahamas your last.

Don’t worry, the beaches in northern Sweden have cocktail serving walruses.

So there you have it. Non climate-related trends are actually climate-related trends, and the trends you thought were regular societal trends are climatic and anthropogenically induced trends, albeit unwillingly and subconsciously. And you thought Mitt Romney’s position on climate change was difficult to follow.

In any case, this serious issue deserves more attention, so we invite you to trendily think outside the box with us.

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