In the NewsGristAugust 7, 2018
Terrified by ‘hothouse Earth’? Don’t despair, do something.
A team of international researchers released what looks like a blueprint for catastrophe this week. On our current path, they warned, humanity might push the planet into an entirely new, hellish equilibrium, unseen since before the emergence of our species millions of years ago. This doomsday scenario, which they dubbed “hothouse Earth,” could render large swaths of our planet uninhabitable. Their conclusion: “Humanity is now facing the need for critical decisions and actions that could influence our future for centuries, if not millennia.” But that message got lost in the breathless media coverage over “hothouse Earth” — even though it’s the most important thing each one of us needs to hear at perhaps the most important turning point in our species’ history. Lab co-director Robert Kopp, who leads Rutgers University's Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, weighs in.