You wanna shit yourself on a Tuesday? Just look at what the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it has "high" or "very high" confidence will happen or is happening as a result of the world's governments being filled with greedy motherfuckers who are doing nearly nothing to deal with the causes of global climate change:
"Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability." That scary sentence was given with very high confidence. It's followed by this scary sentence: "For countries at all levels of development, these impacts are consistent with a significant lack of preparedness for current climate variability in some sectors." You get it? We're not prepared for what's going on, let alone for what's coming. That's because too many of our putative leaders get their science from the Bible and Rush Limbaugh, not necessarily in that order.
At best, the report says, the globe is at the beginning of adaptation to a new reality. It's fascinating that, while pretty much every other continent is moving ahead with planning for the fucked new world, "in North America, governments are engaging in incremental adaptation assessment and planning, particularly at the municipal level." So while Asia is "mainstreaming climate adaptation action into subnational development planning, early warning systems, integrated water resources management, agroforestry, and coastal reforestation of mangroves," we're sitting on our assessing asses and hoping Jesus bails us out at the last second like Bruce Willis swinging in on a firehose.
Let's just catalog the horrors occurring now due to climate change, shall we?
Glaciers shrinking? High confidence. Animal and plant extinctions? High confidence. Food insecurity? Reduction in crop yields? Higher food prices? High confidence. Disruption of food and water supplies? Very high confidence.
And, hey, here's some shit that's probably gonna occur (remember: "high" or "very high" confidence) at some point, maybe even in our lifetimes, so no weaseling out and passing it on to the kids:
"A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution, and invasive species." That's a rich gumbo of ways we're dicking over nature until nature decides to bite us hard on our fat asses.
"Due to sea-level rise projected throughout the 21st century and beyond, coastal systems and low-lying areas will increasingly experience adverse impacts such as submergence, coastal flooding, and coastal erosion." Submergence? That means, um, underwater. It doesn't matter how many guns you own, Florida. You can't stand your ground against the fuckin' ocean.
"All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability...Heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, and water scarcity pose risks in urban areas for people, assets, economies, and ecosystems." These two together pretty much mean we're gonna be eating each other by the end of the century, no zombie apocalypse needed.
And then there's the disease and starvation and death: "Until mid-century, projected climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist. Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change. Examples include greater likelihood of injury, disease, and death due to more intense heat waves and fires; increased likelihood of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions; risks from lost work capacity and reduced labor productivity in vulnerable populations; and increased risks from food- and water-borne diseases."
Let us say, and why not, that you're playing on some train tracks in the dark with another person. You hear a train horn in the distance. You might say, "Hey, we should step off these tracks." The other person says, "That train is so far away. Who cares?" So you stay until you hear the horn again, quite a bit closer. You say, "That's close enough. C'mon, we can play elsewhere." But the other person says, "We're not going anywhere. That train is probably not even coming this way." Then you see the front light of the train and the tracks are vibrating. "That's it," you say. "We're leaving." The other person scoffs, "No, I know all about this train. It's gonna switch tracks right up there" and points to where you don't see any other tracks or switches. "In fact," the other person says, "I'm so sure that I'm going to tie us to the track just to prove I'm right." You respond, "What the fuck? How about we step off the track and see if I'm right?" The other one says, "Because then we'd stop playing" and ties you both up so you can see if you get run over by the quickly approaching train that is obviously on your track.
That's not a terrible analogy, but it's incomplete. Let's add this: To distract you from even thinking about or talking about the train, the other person takes out an iPhone and turns on CNN where you see absolutely nothing about the train, only about floating plastic bits in the ocean and a missing plane. Ahh. Now you won't even notice when the locomotive wipes you the fuck out.
Compared to every other minor story or internet meme covered by our media, the IPCC report is pretty much a tree falling in a forest where it might make a sound, but everything around it is extinct, so it can't be heard.