(CNN)For years now, people like environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben have been screaming from the treetops that we need a World War II-scale mobilization to fight the scourge of climate change.
We're losing the war on climate change
They're right, of course. And on Earth Day -- that 24-hour sliver of the calendar when we talk about the fact that humans exist on, and because of, a living planet -- it's clear not only that we are losing this war but that we still are failing to recognize it's taking place at all.
I mean, yes, I've met Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who is "schooling world leaders" on climate policy and who started a global school walkout movement. I've read the Green New Deal and seen the videos of young people demanding that US reps adopt it. Just this month, protesters in London shut down parts of the city in their calls for a reckoning. It's true that clean energy sources keep getting cheaper. Electric cars are more popular than ever.
But the scale of the outrage in no way matches the magnitude of this disaster, which, like WWII, threatens to cripple or even obliterate human life on the planet as we know it.
We've known the truth about climate change -- that people are burning fossil fuels and warming the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic consequences -- for decades now. James Hansen testified about the dangers of global warming when he was an NASA scientist in 1988. The New York Times headline: "Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate."