When It Comes to Climate Change, This Is the Only Equation You Need to Know

Some say global warming is too complicated to comprehend. We simplify it for you.
How long will we be able to keep our heads above the rising waters of climate change? (Photo: Getty Images)
Jul 15, 2013· 1 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

I didn’t go to science school, or anything amazing like that, but I’m fairly certain the following mathematical equation—which I just made up like 20 minutes ago—accurately and succinctly summarizes the current state of the climate-political complex in the United States.

X + Y = we’re screwed

Please sit tight as I define the variables of my newfangled equation:

X = The World Meteorological Organization recently released a report on the years 2001 to 2010. As reads go, it was a royal snooze. As warning shots go, it was a howitzer of the first order. According to the study, the first decade of the 21st century was the hottest since the start of modern measurements in 1850. The hottest. In 160 years!

Hey deniers, can you see the trend? (Photo: World Meterological Association)

This heat surge lead to “a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers.”

The most tragic thread of the report? That would have to be the 370,000 people who were killed by climate-change fueled extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts in the last decade. This is a 20 percent increase from the 1990s.

And now for the really depressing news:

Y = Last week Climate Progress published a truly vexatious infographic that exposes just how deeply intertwined the tentacles of the fossil fuel industry are with some members of the 113th Congress.

Says the report: 115 current beltway baby-kissers have welcomed with open arms—and no doubt smug smirks and sly winks—more than $51 million in campaign contributions from big oil and gas. As part of this quid pro quo deal, these members of Congress are then responsible for standing in lockstep opposition to any legislation—be it Obama’s appointment to the EPA or, say, the House’s 2009 climate change bill—that would in any way, in any way, curb greenhouse gas emissions. These are the very same emissions, need I remind you, that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climatologists unequivocally say is causing climate change.

So, to summarize:

We’re speeding for the climate cliff and the traffic cops have dropped their radar guns to count their bribe money with both hands.