People tend to ignore science when they can't somehow see it first hand. Albert Einstein had to write four letters to FDR warning him about the terrible threat of atomic weapons, and the president started listening. Last week, the National Research Council "issued something akin to that series of Einstein letters," warning of swiftly approaching climate change tipping points, writes Jeff Nesbit at LiveScience. But we need no longer rely on such abstract warnings, because "Climate change is no longer a future threat off in the distance."
For evidence, look at the "pizzlies," a hybrid of grizzly and polar bears first discovered in the wild in 2006. "Such pizzlies were predicted, and perhaps inevitable, as climate change forced grizzlies north and polar bears south." Since then, similar hybrid birds have been cropping up. For these animals, climate change isn't an abstract academic warning—it's clear and present. There are still only likely a few pizzlies, but "they are quite real, and they tell a story that society needs to hear before it's too late."