Not Cool

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“No sweat,” this well-groomed model must be thinking, “I’m used to working under hot lights.” For the rest of us, however, things aren’t looking too cool. Despite the oil, gas, and coal industries’ “Tobacco Institute Strategy” of pretending there’s great scientific uncertainty, almost all climate scientists are convinced that industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases are trapping ever greater amounts of heat in our atmosphere.

In just the past hundred years of industrialization, the CO2 content of our atmosphere has climbed by more than a third, so that today there’s more CO2 in our air than at any time in the past 160,000 years. Partly as a result, average world temperatures have risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century, and are projected to rise another 2 to 6 degrees in the next century. The geological record suggests that changes like these can have dramatic impacts on rainfall, storm size and duration, glaciers, droughts, the rising sea level, the spread of tropical diseases, and the survival of threatened species. Already the last 15 years have been the warmest of the past 200 years, and the 4 hottest years on record all occurred in the 1990s. The 1980s were the hottest decade on record — and the 1990s are well on the way to breaking that record.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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