According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) concern about CO2 is decisive: “Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended.” One hundred times anything is big.
That is an unprecedented rate of growth with profound and nasty negative consequences for temperature, climate, ecosystems, and species on land and in the oceans, nothing good.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up