The Great Barrier Reef is dying.
Environmental activist Bill McKibben sounds the death knell in a piece for the New Yorker's web site.
The huge coral system's rapid demise is the most acute warning system for the Earth.
Yet, as McKibben details, political leaders considered environmentally conscious are acting to increase carbon emissions.
Canada's Justin Trudeau recently announced that his government will develop a pipeline to transport oil from Alberta's tar sands to the Pacific Coast. California's Jerry Brown has boosted his approvals of drilling permits.
As the Great Barrier Reef bleaches away, Australia takes ineffective action, as McKibben details. The Australian government wants to accelerate coal mining.
McKibben rode a motorboat to examine the barrier reef's deterioration. Critics will cry that a motorboat emits carbon into the atmosphere.
A motorboat makes little difference when oil pipelines and drilling permits extract more petroleum from the earth, and send it into the atmosphere.