The most recent report by the IPPC describes the changes that we are currently experiencing, and it warns that the damage from climate change will worsen unless we cut carbon emissions. We are already seeing food shortages and high prices for basics like corn and wheat. The next step will be starvation in many nations which do not have the resources to respond to the changes that are underway. The US is not immune from the effects of climate change. There is less snow on the western mountain caps, and the snow is melting earlier, that means less water in summers that have been getting hotter.
The UN report may be welcome news for President Obama who plans to take action on climate change. Unfortunately, the report will most likely lead to an increase in the number of Al Gore jokes that float around the Internet and talk radio. Climate change denial has become part of the GOP's identity. It will be difficult for the GOP to change its identity with its scientifically challenged base, and with the fossil fuel industry which contributes to their ignorance. Moreover, responding to climate change will not be cheap. Many nations will find it difficult to adapt to climate change, or to fund the programs that will be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is a challenge, however, that can inspire us to work together to save the only planet that we have.