What do you do when the check engine light starts flashing in your car? Contrary to what your grandpa might have told you, you don’t curse at the “idiot light,” cover it with electrical tape, and wait for the transmission to fall out before you begrudgingly drop in on your local mechanic.
And so it is with the climate crisis – the sooner we take action to slow the rate of climate change, the lower the risk and cost for future generations.
You know this. We know this. Pretty much everyone knows this. Heck, even aliens know this. And that weird little murmur you just heard was the sound of people around the world nodding their heads in collective agreement while humming “mmhmm.”
Unfortunately, a few key people in the US government haven’t gotten the memo.
The Trump Administration’s recent “skinny budget” proposal cuts global climate change programs at the State Department, slashes programs working on new energy technologies at the Department of Energy, and takes a wrecking ball to the Environmental Protection Agency, trimming its budget by 31 percent.
Putting the administration’s feelings in sharp relief, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a news briefing: “As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
There are plenty of things the federal government wants to waste our tax money on – a $21.6 billion border wall, for example. Programs enacted to protect our planet aren’t one of them.
With the Trump budget and recent executive orders reversing course on key initiatives like the Clean Power Plan in mind, we thought the time was right to check in on the current climate situation. After all, the climate crisis isn’t some far-off concern. It’s happening right now.
Below, we’ve pulled together a quiz featuring some truly jaw-dropping climate facts so you can test your knowledge of the crisis. And after you ace it, be sure to share it with that one uncle we all have who likes to argue loudly about climate every time the family gets together.
We think you get the picture – we’re fast approaching an important fork in the road. But there’s plenty we can do to avoid the very worst consequences of inaction. With renewable technologies like wind and solar in our hands today, we can solve the climate crisis – but only if our leaders insist on truth, accept reality, and listen to science.