Is Soylent Green Our Destiny?

Dunkirk, NY Natural Gas/Coal power plant

The Trump Administration released the U.S. Climate Report this past Black Friday, hoping that it would get little press. That is not how it is playing out since it has been all over the news. Focusing on the U.S. only, it parallels the conclusions of the recently released IPCC Report. Written for a general

Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 1940 (U.S. Park Service)

audience, these data are dizzying to most of us. I recently saw the 1973 film, Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston. It is a fictionalized account of a world suffering from the greenhouse effect and overpopulation. Everyone (except the wealthy) are suffering from heat, disease, and a lack of food. In fact, the only food available to the masses is an assortment of “soy” wafers.

The predictions in the U.S. report are bleak. Unbeknownst to me is the fact that the Northeastern United States is warming faster than the rest of the lower 48:

The seasonal climate, natural systems, and accessibility of certain types of recreation are threatened by declining snow and ice, rising sea levels, and

Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 2006 (U.S. Park Service)

rising temperatures. By 2035, and under both lower and higher scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), the Northeast is projected to be more than 3.6°F (2°C) warmer on average than during the preindustrial era. This would be the largest increase in the contiguous United States and would occur as much as two decades before global average temperatures reach a similar milestone.

The only way I can describe our predicament is that we are in a slow motion “nuclear war” that will change the face of life on our planet. Yes, we can minimize the destructive effects of climate change, but we had better start now, according to the scientists.

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