Earlier this year, the Century published a piece
by an environmental scientist on just how radical the current shift in CO2 levels are—from the perspective of 50 million years. As I was working with that scientist, Lee Vierling, on the piece, we struggled to find a language that he and I and readers of the Century could share. He wanted something that was fluid and scientifically absolutely accurate. He also wanted to be certain that he was not using scare tactics.