"Before the Deluge" was of course written by Jackson Browne, but I like this Joan Baez version. The lyrics are copied at the end, following some thoughts about denialism. I'm not referring to those despicable advocates of unregulated pollution that has been altering the atmosphere with invisible gases for over a century - or contaminating the earth and water and medical patients with untested chemicals - or unfettered destruction of habitat through deforestation, mountaintop removal, deep water drilling, the tar sands, and fracking. Nothing will change their minds as long as there is money to be made from peddling ruinous activities, no matter how unsustainable. What alarms me is the denialism that leads some of the most knowledgeable among us to close their eyes to trends nothing short of disastrous that are clearly discernable, even in the models that don't include amplifying feedbacks like methane and the albedo effect.
Ocean acidification is often referred to as the "evil twin" of climate change, but I am starting to think it is surreptitiously treated more like the "bastard child" by many climate scientists better versed in physics - because the existential threat it poses is generally as unacknowledged as it is inevitable. Which is too bad, because it scares the hell out of the industry deniers, precisely because it is an indisputably and inevitably existential threat for any number of reasons, chief among them the loss of a major protein source for a large portion of humans (leading to famine, refugees and war), and loss of a primary source of oxygen, to breathe. It's proven virtually impossible to get climate experts to give even a passing thought to the equally inevitable loss of forests, our other source of oxygen - not off in the future from temperature changes but very soon, within the lifetime of anyone reading this, from tropospheric ozone.
Almost as soon as I learnt about the imminent disasters of climate change and ecosystem collapse to be unleashed upon a largely unsuspecting and hoodwinked public, I was puzzled to notice a long-standing and fundamental rift dividing environmental activists, environmental poseurs, and scientists. It's anecdotal to say so but lately it seems to me, that rift is widening. As news from the frontiers of climate chaos - of floods, and desertification, of tornados and food shortages - worsens for those who are paying attention, and it becomes ever more apparent that technological advances to fix the problem will be far too little and implemented far too late, arguments are erupting in comments on various self-designated Important and Serious websites between those who believe the future is so dangerous for survival that it is (past) time for action, and those who should know better but continue to caution against merely sounding "overly alarmist".