When you see kids out trick-or-treating tonight …

… please consider these lines from deep inside the latest posting from the nation’s top climate scientist:

the most serious effects will be visited upon the young and the unborn, the generations that bear no responsibility for the problem. The most important effects, I believe, will be those that are irreversible for all practical purposes, specifically (1) extermination of species, and (2) ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise. If we continue business-as-usual energy policy, using more and more fossil fuels, it is likely that we will have:(1) rapid climate change that will combine with other pressures on species to cause the rate of extinction of plants and animals to increase markedly, leading in some cases to ecosystem collapse, snowballing extinctions, and a more desolate planet for future generations.(2) meter-scale sea level rise this century, and ice sheets in a state of disintegration that guarantees future sea level rise in the 10-meter-scale, with a continual reworking of future global coastlines out of humanity’s control.

I would add that the planetary desolation our continued inaction would leave our children includes the loss of the inland glaciers that provide fresh water for a billion people and desertification across one third of the globe (see “Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction”).

The time to act is now.