Why Extreme Weather is Like a Heart Attack
Quitting smoking or losing weight or eating more vegetables won't guarantee you won't get a heart attack: they happen even to people with no obvious risk factors. But the more risk factors you have, the more you're at risk.
Yes, I know it's obvious. That's the point. It should also be obvious that climate change is like adding an extra risk factor that boosts the danger of extreme events like torrential rains, heat waves and droughts. But we in the climate communications business have failed to get that thought into people's heads.
I've just published an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times that tries to remedy that by talking about the floods in Thailand (and other climate events) in the language of medical emergencies. Here's how it begins:
An obese, middle-aged man is running to catch a bus. Suddenly, he clutches his chest, falls to the ground and dies of a massive heart attack....
You can read the rest on the Times website.
You can also read a commentary about it on the the Collide-a-Scape blog run by journalist Keith Kloor.
If the public totally gets climate change by the end of this week, I plan to claim full credit.