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April 26, 2006

It's official: Global warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it, is in.

"Climate Crisis!" "A Threat Graver Than Terrorism!" Wired and Vanity Fair, two popular, mainstream magazines, the kind you see at the market checkout line, are taking the global warming message to Average Joe.

About damn time.

I suppose there was a time when I didn't know that global warming was a danger, likely to affect the world within my lifetime, but I can't remember it. I have fuzzy memories of reading Time magazine exclusives, probably when I was in junior high or my first year of high school. At the time, if it was in Time, it was fact. And if it was fact, surely everyone knew about it.

I'm wiser, presumably, now. Or at least more jaded. The Reign of the SUV dawned after I knew about emissions, so clearly, global warming wasn't something everyone knew or cared about. I remember a letter to some editor, taking a publication to task for treating global warming like it might be a serious issue when "it's been the worst, coldest, winter here in New England in my lifetime."

It's been a disheartening several years as the science has gotten more certain, the predictions scarier, while the leadership marched off to war to protect our oil interests. These two magazines, and Al Gore's new documentary, are the first bright spots I've seen. Going mainstream with the facts, as scary as they are, in ways that (hopefully) will get to a wider audience. If the leadership won't lead, then the people have the responsibility to get there on their own. If the goverment won't curb greenhouse gasses, it's our job to do it.

Bruce Sterling once said that we needed to make environmentalism sexy before it would go mainstream. George and Julia, we're glad to have you green.

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