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And all the time I had been covering this issue during the '90s and in the new century, you know, climate change was always seen as this very distant problem — very dangerous, but very distant — and, critically, one we could prevent if we got our act together. And by 2005, David King and the scientists were saying, "No, sorry, we got that wrong. Climate change came a hundred years sooner than we expected." And, of course, the big — the most fiendish aspect of that is that once you have triggered climate change, you cannot turn it off quickly. And that's just because of the laws of physics and chemistry, that, you know, the CO2 stays in the atmosphere forever. And so, he said that even if we stopped all emissions tonight, which, clearly, as you show from the Todd Stern quote, we are hardly doing, but even if we did that, the temperatures will not stop going up for another 30 years.

So, when I walked out of his office that day, I realized that this was going to hit my daughter’s generation very hard. And that was where this book began, just more of a father’s quest to try and figure out how can my daughter live through this? What is it going to mean that the temperatures are going to go up for 50 years? What kind of extreme weather is that going to
put into play? And above all, what do we do about it?

And there are solutions. There are things we can do. But I do think that it is a terrible crime that has been committed against my daughter and the rest of Generation Hot, the two billion kids who have been born around the world since we were put on notice about this problem in June of 1988 by Jim Hansen, the NASAscientist, who went to the Senate and said, "Look, this is happening. If we don’t do something about it, we’re threatening the habitability of this planet." We did not do something about it, for all the reasons that you guys have reported, the disinformation from the oil companies and so forth. And now my daughter and her generation are going to have to live with this. And I think that’s a terrible crime.

Taken from Interview with Author Mark Hertsgaard on FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 .

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