The U.S.A. is home to less than 5% of Earth's population but produces 25% of CO2 emissions. The US media arguably bear much of the blame for global warming, consistently failing to alert their readerships to the growing seriousness of the problem (all the while "balancing" the so-called "doomsdayers" with hot air from paid energy corporation spokesmen). So it's good to see TIME magazine blow the trumpets of alarm as loudly as possible with their cover story this week, which sets out the complexities of the problem in pretty clear and simple terms.
Curbing global warming may be an order of magnitude harder than, say, eradicating smallpox or putting a man on the moon. But is it moral not to try? We did not so much march toward the environmental precipice as drunkenly reel there, snapping at the scientific scolds who told us we had a problem.TIME also publishes some useful follow-up stories, including How to Seize the Initiative and The Impact of Asia's Giants.
The scolds, however, knew what they were talking about. In a solar system crowded with sister worlds that either emerged stillborn like Mercury and Venus or died in infancy like Mars, we're finally coming to appreciate the knife-blade margins within which life can thrive. For more than a century we've been monkeying with those margins. It's long past time we set them right.