My so-called friendsHave fallen under a spell.They look me squarely in the eyeAnd they say, well, “All is well."Can they imagine the darknessThat will fall from on highWhen men will beg God to kill themAnd they won’t be able to die?
I think it’s fair to say that even people who accept climate reality have tended to assume that really serious impacts still lie some years in the future; I sometimes find myself thinking that way, even though intellectually I know better. But it has long been clear that the damage from climate change will gradually build over time, as formerly freakish disasters become bigger and more frequent, as once-in-a-century floods, fires and droughts start happening every few years, affecting ever more people. The climate crisis will get much worse, but it is in fact already well underway.
And there are no safe places. Some people have tended to assume that a warming planet is only bad for faraway places that are already hot — India, say, or the Middle East — and might even be good for people living in colder climes. But right now Canada is on fire, and central New York State — heretofore famous for cold winters and lake-effect snow — has been hit as hard or harder than New York City.
Things could be worse. Indeed, things are certain to get worse: Even effective climate action now won’t be enough to prevent disasters from becoming even bigger and more frequent for many more years.