Wake up and smell the permafrost

The distance between “should” and “will” is vivdly evident in the cavalier dismissal of Alaska’s climate change sub-cabinet by Governor Sean Parnell. The readiness of self-styled “conservatives” to do anything but conserve would be astonishing if it weren’t so predictable.

Under climbing Arctic temperatures, huge swaths of land will become unrecognizable; ecosystems which developed to fit Alaska’s unique conditions will struggle to adapt to an environment changing too fast for evolution to keep up. Climatologists’ predictions of the impact of an increasingly hotter world have, if anything, underestimated the speed, severity, and complexity of the damage; to willfully ignore science because its findings are inconvenient or uncomfortable is to live in a dream world.

Conservative climate-change deniers in American politics need to visit the real world — a place where superstorms, droughts, heat waves and drastic ecological transformations are already underway. Governor Parnell needs to wake up and smell the permafrost.

Warren Senders

Medford, Mass.

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