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USA Today Publishes Cannavo Essay


USA Today published an opinion piece written by Associate Professor of Government Peter F. Cannavo titled “Global warming reveals our own Game of Thrones” on Oct. 16 in both its online and print editions. In his piece, Cannavo compares the manner in which many in the United States have overlooked or minimized the dangers related to global warming or, in fact, questioned its very existence, to that of the behavior of warring factions in the television show “Game of Thrones.”

“The story works as a parable for our own world,” writes Cannavo.  “We face our own climatic catastrophe — not a supernatural threat, but one substantiated by science. But for many Americans, science is no more believable than magic is for the Westerosi [characters in the “Game of Thrones”], so global warming is ignored.”

“Even as emissions and temperatures rise, the Arctic melts, methane bubbles up from the sea floor and oceans acidify, many still regard climate like the weather, an external phenomenon beyond human influence.  Thus the common, dismissive refrain, recently echoed by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: ‘Our climate is always changing.’”

Cannavo concludes his essay with the warning, “The longer we remain focused on seemingly serious short-term concerns while ignoring what is just on the other side of the wall, the more we'll wish ‘winter is coming.’

“For us, a long hot summer is on the way.”

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