"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
—Mark Twain, 1897
Climate regulates life on Earth. It determines how we live. It plays a deciding role in where we can live and how we survive or, in some cases, whether we survive at all. Throughout Earth’s history, climates have changed, sometimes quite slowly, other times rather abruptly. In either case, the survival of the species living in those times depended on their ability to adapt to the new climate—sometimes in a rather short period of time. Those who could not adapt became extinct.
The human species is no exception, albeit our intelligence makes us one of the most adaptable species to ever walk on Earth. The real question is how quickly and how well modern civilization—our institutions, our governments, our communities, our food production and transportation systems—can adjust to the changes a new climate will bring.