A Planet in Peril
There is an extensive body of evidence that the planet is undergoing a period of intense stress and extraordinary ecosystem disruption brought about by the increased global warming of the Earth. Natural disasters are getting worse: floods and drought last longer; hurricanes and cyclones are more intense; heatwaves are hotter; and they are all more destructive. Wildfires are more frequent, larger, and more deadly. As sea levels rise, inundating the smaller coral islands, the oceans are becoming more acidic. Dead zones are multiplying; enormous floating garbage patches filled with trash are now found in all the oceans. Coral reefs are bleaching out due to rising seawater temperatures. Recent evidence points to a widespread reduction in the abundance of many species of insects. Many experts believe a 6th extinction is already underway. The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human activities are causing these global problems, and that the principal causative agent is the emission of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels.