The climate story nobody talks about

Adam Frank writes: On Nov. 30, world leaders will gather in Paris for a pivotal United Nations conference on climate change.

Given its importance, I want to use the next couple months to explore some alternative perspectives on the unruly aggregate of topics lumped together as “climate change.”

There is an urgent demand for such alternative narratives and it rises, in part, from the ridiculous stalemate we find ourselves in today. But the endless faux “debate” about the state of climate science also obscures a deeper — and more profound — reality: We’ve become a species of enormous capacities with the power to change an entire planet. So, what exactly does this mean?

In service of answering this question and looking for perspectives on climate change beyond the usual focus on controversy, let’s begin by acknowledging a single fact that’s rarely discussed in the media: Climate science is a triumph of human civilization.

Landing on the moon. The development of relativity theory. The discovery of DNA. We rightfully hail these accomplishments as testaments to the creative power of the human imagination. We point to them as the highest achievements of our species, calling them milestones in our collective evolution.

But climate science is no different. It, too, belongs in that short list of epoch making human efforts. [Continue reading…]

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