"The vital difference between past and present is "Us". Past changes had natural causes, like volcanoes or orbital wiggles, but present warming is unequivocally our fault: you can’t release aeons of solar energy stored in fossil fuels without disruption. But the heat produced by these fuels is only a tiny part of the warming; it is the greenhouse effect, by which released carbon dioxide and gases like methane trap incoming solar energy, that makes the greatest difference. In the time that it takes you to read this sentence, the world will have trapped additional heat that is equivalent to the explosion of thirty Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. Read that again, it wasn’t a misprint. By the time you have, the total will be sixty atomic bombs.
Losses to nature risk far worse than the impoverishment of human experience; they also threaten our well-being. As ecosystems disintegrate, we are seeing losses of critical functioning upon which life depends.
The difference is in our perceptions illustrates a phenomenon called ‘shifting baseline syndrome’. Shifting environmental baselines are intergenerational changes in how we perceive our world. Each generation sets its mental benchmark of normality by how the world looked when first encountered, often in youth, and sees change relative to this. Younger generations accept as normal a world that seems tainted and degraded to older people."