Living on the Planet “Stupid”

A recent sobering article in the Guardian notes that as of May  2013 we have now reached the new exciting record of having 400  parts per million of Co2 in our atmosphere!

The Guardian  states that:

The last time so much greenhouse gas was in the air was several million years ago, when the Arctic was ice-free, savannah spread across the Sahara desert and sea level was up to 40 metres higher than today.

These conditions are expected to return in time, with devastating consequences for civilisation, unless emissions of CO2 from the burning of coal, gas and oil are rapidly curtailed. But despite increasingly severe warnings from scientists and a major economic recession, global emissions have continued to soar unchecked.

Hockeystick

The CO2 “Hockeystick” graph (courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/10/climate-warming-gas-carbon-dioxide-levels-interactive )

However what is most sobering, is that last slide in  this Guardian narrative, which shows the likely scenario of reaching 1000  parts of carbon  dioxide per million by  2100 if industrialization continues as it has for the past 200 years; which is everybody’s best guess at  this point.

Not one government in  the world is committed to real  carbon  dioxide emission reductions  at  this point. Most governments talk about reducing carbon  emissions, but in  reality pedal  “progress’  and ‘economic growth ” as the panacea to their  little national  problems of recession or poverty…  However  “growth” and  “progress” are the true causes of our death-wish.

By the time  real decisions are made to  reduce industrialization and consumption  globally, we will be well  and truly past  the point of ensuring our  survivability as a species  with any significant numbers on the planet,  along with  thousands of other species. In  reality,  right now, we are  long-gone.

What  the impacts of living on  a planet with 1000 parts per million of carbon  dioxide will be; no-one knows. Nor do  we know what the short to medium term impacts of this totally  never-before-witnessed  sudden change in our atmospheric composition will have on  this planet.

Nor does anyone know, even if we stop producing CO2 right now, how long it will  take before  CO2 levels start to  decline,  and consequently the world’s  climate begin to return to”normal ” conditions. Quite possibly it may take  thousands of years for climate conditions to return to the levels of the 1960s; if they ever do  at  all.

What  we do  know is that we have  entered an unfamiliar world-there is no  going back.

Be prepared for the unexpected!

 

 

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