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Humans Must Prepare For Climate Change Now

Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey says humans must prepare for climate change

April 24, 2007
The earth is approaching a collision with climate change that can‘t be avoided, but that doesn‘t mean we shouldn‘t try to make the hit as soft as possible, says a leading global environmentalist. “I think if you‘re driving an automobile on the freeway, and you realize you‘re going to have a collision or hit something, to not put on the brakes would seem to be madness. Because the chances are if you can slow the impact, you‘ll be less damaged." Scientists are worried about climate change because they‘ve seen what it can do. “(We) know damn well what climate change does, it wreaks havoc on this planet. Thus far, no species, really, has escaped the consequences of climate change - including our own." Two million years ago, climate change forced our ancestors to use tools, and to start bonding over the need to share food. Ten thousand years ago, we were forced to begin growing crops and breeding animals. “This climate change that has beset us - whether we caused it or not - is irrelevant. It‘s going to have a hell of an impact. We need to start figuring out how we‘re going to cook with it and what it‘s going to mean." Tropical regions such as Africa may be the first affected, while cooler regions such as Canada will be alright for longer. Within a decade Mount Kilimanjaro will have no ice for the first time in 10,000 years. Rising sea levels could put almost one billion people out of their homes in 50 years. “What is Canada and the United States and Britain and Europe going to do about a refugee population of a billion people? Who‘s going to feed them? What‘s going to happen to security? These are real issues."
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