Early this morning, nearly a million New Yorkers were stunned by the appearance of a "special edition" New York Post blaring headlines that their city could face deadly heat waves, extreme flooding, and other lethal effects of global warming within the next few decades. The most alarming thing about it: the news came from an official City report. [74-page PDF]Climate change is no joke, folks, and it's stunts like these that are attempting to get through the massive cultural denial we have about it. Humor is often effective at reaching people so they can bear to think about a horrible thing—and maybe do something about it.
Distributed by over 2000 volunteers throughout New York City, the paper has been created by The Yes Men and a coalition of activists as a wake-up call to action on climate change. It appears one day before a UN summit where Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will push 100 world leaders to make serious commitments to reduce carbon emissions in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate conference in December. Ban has said that the world has "less than 10 years to halt (the) global rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet," adding that Copenhagen is a "once-in-a-generation opportunity."
Although the 32-page New York Post is a fake, everything in it is 100% true, with all facts carefully checked by a team of editors and climate change experts.
Alaska, like the city of New York, is actually looking at the effects of climate change, rather than pretending it's not happening. Alaska, of course, is already feeling the effects—the Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning at UAF has produced several reports and projections on climate and how things like hydropower projects, water availability, growing season length, and permafrost will be affected by it.