In Warm, Warmer, Warmest, a column on global warming by Nicholas Kristof published in the New York Times on 5 March 2006, Kristof concludes that “our political system is paralyzed in the face of what may be the single biggest challenge to our planet.”

Kristof writes:

Part of the challenge in modeling climate is that we’re already off the charts with greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane. “We’ve driven them out of the range that has existed for the last one million years,” noted James Hansen, NASA’s top climate expert….

The column continues, this time quoting Jerry Mahlman, former longtime director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab:

“Historians of science will be brutal on us,” said Jerry Mahlman, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “We are right now in a state of deep denial about how severe the problem is. Political people are saying, ‘Well, it’s not on my watch.’ They’re ducking for cover, because who’s going to tell the American people?”
“Are we an intelligent species or not?” Dr. Mahlman asked. “Right now, the evidence is against it.”