(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

Apparently all anyone has any strength or enthusiasm for is applying a literalism test on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)’s all-too-accurate warnings. She said recently that if we don’t start to address climate change aggressively right now, the world will end in 12 years. I know, let’s feign alarm that she has exaggerated instead of having genuine alarm about the genuine problem she is raising the red flags over.

Here’s another idea. Why don’t we apply the same exactitude of judgment on some other things that have been said about climate change? Here’s a sampler:

“Climate change is a hoax.” “The science is unclear.” “If there were warming, we’d see it.” “If we saw it, we’d do something.” “Maybe it’s cooling.” “It’s too soon to act.” “There’s nothing we can do.” “If this is climate change, I’ll take it!” “It’s arrogant to think humans could change the climate.” “It’s cold today, so climate science is wrong.” “Yes, there’s a problem but hardly a crisis.”

That last position is where the Washington consensus currently resides (President Sir Lies-a-Lot notwithstanding), and it is that position that is dangerously wrong, and what AOC is (correctly) fighting against. The last word on the subject from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could not have been more dire.

We need to start NOW, to cut carbon emissions aggressively, or by 2030 we may have passed a tipping point beyond which the planet, and yes you people living on it, is in for a world of possibly permanent hurt. So let’s quibble that AOC said the world will end instead of the world as humans and current species have known it and depended on it will end, forever.

Meanwhile, your friendly corporations believe in climate change, all right. They are planning to bleed your last coins into their pockets selling you generators when the climate disasters wipe out your power grid.

Now tell me who is getting this crisis right and in your best interests.

Read more:

Post Opinions Staff: Here are 11 climate change policies to fight for in 2019

Ted Halstead: Here’s how to win on climate-change policy

Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam: States can lead the way on climate change. Let’s get to work.

The Post’s View: It’s time to face the inescapable truth: We’re running out of time on climate change