2005 Annual Review

Posted on 10/20/2006 in Sustainable Development

The 2005 Annual Review features "Solutions to Global Warming: A National Conversation We Desperately Need to Have," a cover by David Sassoon.

Excerpt from cover story:

Earth is running a fever. We have measured it. We know the cause: the carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that we are pumping into the atmosphere. We also know if nothing changes, Earth's fever will continue to rise and things will get much worse. And yet there is a cure; in fact, there is an array of real and executable remedies, and there are many physicians poised to tackle this most consequential challenge of our time.

When our bodily temperature rises two or three degrees, we quickly call the doctor, who diagnoses the illness and prescribes a remedy, and through obedience and some luck, we recover. In America, Washington has yet to call the doctor to tend to its contribution to Earth's accelerating deterioration, even though the size of our contagion is disproportionately large. There are medical teams at work in local pockets of advanced response, but the rest of the world is watching expectantly for a larger solution.

Earth as we know it remains in ever-growing danger, its fate now more than ever in our hands. It is poor bedside manner to belabor the details of worst-case prognosis, even if everyone is well versed in the doomsday litanies of climate change. It does not encourage recovery. What is needed is a more appropriate demeanor: the manner of healthy optimism that accompanies the promise of a cure.