Yeah, the Weather Has Been Weird

Foreign Policy - One brisk morning in March, two years ago, I found myself at a bustling diner in Salt Lake City sitting across the table from Steven Amstrup. Lanky and affable, he was eating a plate of fried eggs cooked just the way he liked them: with smashed yolks, as if they’d been “stomped on.”

Despite the fact that the impacts can be observed today, a frustratingly large number of Americans think climate change is a hoax. But the largest obstacle we face isn't those who dismiss and disregard the science of climate change, or attack scientists like me as alarmists, or worse. It's not even the emotionally immediate about-face in the U.S. government's approach to climate policy and scientific research. No, the most dangerous myth we've bought into is the idea that climate change is a future concern, one that we can address or ignore without immediate consequence.

The idea that we're invulnerable to anything the planet might throw at us isn't unique to climate change. In Lubbock, Texas, where I live, no one doubts the reality of tornadoes. Yet as the warnings for the devastating 1970 tornado — to this day, one of the strongest tornadoes to hit the business district of any American city — went out, veteran west Texas broadcaster Bob Nash dismissed them, saying, "You have less chance of being hit by a tornado than being trampled by a dinosaur."

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