This warming — ushered in by the highest atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in at least 800,000 years, though more likely millions of years — has a slew of well-predicted and easily observable consequences.
Still, your uncle, friend, family member, or spouse may refute the reality of human-caused climate disruption. Or, they may argue, ostensibly with great wit, that it snowed recently or the climate has changed before during the planet’s 4.5 billion-year-old history.
Here are some constructive gift ideas for the climate-denier in your life who may have a misunderstanding about what human-caused climate change is, and isn’t.
As the congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment has concluded, “heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades.”
A major reason why is today’s atmosphere holds more water vapor than last century. Specifically, for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming, the air can hold 7 percent more water — resulting in more heavy deluges, like this one.
Perhaps your uncle would like to see for himself? It would be a prudent future investment. “Increases in extreme precipitation are projected for all U.S. regions,” U.S. scientists concluded.
Price: $37.99 on Amazon
In 140 years of reliable record-keeping, the last five years have been the warmest five years on record. Zooming out just slightly, 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000. And this doesn’t yet include scorching 2019, which experienced the warmest month ever recorded by humans.
Indeed, there will always be freezing weather; such is the cruel disposition of winter and vagaries of weather. But it’s the long-term warming trend that matters. Would your uncle care to observe for himself?
Price: $9.95 on Amazon
Unfortunately for Homo sapiens and Earth’s profound and still largely unaccounted for biodiversity, human-caused climate change has just commenced. Without curbing global carbon emissions — which may not even peak for another decade — wildfires, extreme drought, and storms are expected to grow increasingly worse.
Then, of course, there is the potential of events like the catastrophic collapse of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which would unleash almost fictional amounts of sea level rise.
In the 310-page “The Uninhabitable Earth,” climate journalist David Wallace-Wells lays out what could come. “It is worse, much worse, than you think,” Wallace-Wells begins.
Price: $15.69 on Amazon
Neil young regrouped his legendary, heavy band, Crazy Horse, to record a new album largely about Earth and climate change. On Colorado, which at times blares with ragged, gritty distortion, Young also settles down for sentimental, earthly musings:
We heard the warning calls, ignored them
We saw the weather change, we saw the fires and floods
We saw the people rise, divided
We fought each other while we lost our coveted prize
“It’s the only thing that really matters,” Young replied. “People on the streets can’t see past the next week.”
Price: $14.48 on Amazon
There’s no dearth of terrific climate journalism.
The Washington Post, High Country News, the Los Angeles Times, and a slew of local newspapers produce superb environmental journalism today, but the New York Times is a well-reported, smart option, too.
The New York Times has assembled a strong climate team producing explainers, news, features, profiles, and visual tours of Earth’s rapidly changing lands.
And, in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump’s repeatedly errant claims, this 168-year-old publication is not failing. In reality, the paper’s digital subscriptions are at all-time highs, and rising sharply.
Price: $15 per month for a digital subscription (but the first year is only $4 per month)
Climate scientist Ed Hawkins has assembled global climate data to produce region-specific stripe visualizations of how your climate has changed (temperature-wise) since the late 1800s.
These warming stripes are now printed on mugs, ties, earrings, notebooks, leggings, and beyond.
Price: ~$21.00 on Zazzle
This light read, authored by climate scientist Michael Mann and political cartoonist Tom Toles, illustrates the twisted logic of climate denialism.
Among the politically powerful and well-heeled, climate denialism has been rife for decades, even as climate scientists repeatedly provided proof that humans were significantly disrupting the planet.
Still today, fossil fuel corporations like Exxon buy ads fighting allegations they have distorted or mislead the public on climate science.
Price: $17.22 on Amazon