In June 1988 George Jensen, from NASA no less, told the U.S. Congress that human activity was effecting the weather. The speech went viral.
From that moment on the whole world knew about climate change.
So what have we done with those 30 precious years? Almost half a lifetime. We have dilly-dallied and shilly-shallied, we have dithered and deliberated, we have procrastinated and prevaricated around the bush.
Along the way, we have squandered whatever chance we ever had of avoiding catastrophic climate change.
Now we must deal with it as best we can.
So here is the truth. It’s not complicated. It’s simple arithmetic.
But be wary, it is scary!
1 – The arctic ice cap is melting. Very soon it will be gone.
So the polar bears will starve to death. So what! Who gives a shit?
Well actually, as all that bright white ice becomes dark blue water, the sun’s rays are no longer reflected, but absorbed. The sea begins to warm. The weather becomes erratic, it gets hard to grow food. This is not the distant future we are talking about. This is happening right now!
In 2018 food production plummeted 20% right across the Northern Hemisphere.
If that happens 3 years in a row, the world runs out of food. As simple as that.
2 – Then there is the carbon lag. If we ever decide to cease the burning of fossil fuels, all that co2 up there in the sky will take 10 or 20 years to become heat down here on earth. The carbon lag.
It is confidently predicted this will lead to a rise in global temperatures of point 7 degrees
They have already risen 1.1 degrees since pre-industrial times.
1.1+ .7 = 1.8 degrees, locked in!
3 -Then there is the paradox of global dimming. If we stop burning fossil fuels, the sky will clear and the air will be fresh. Now, wouldn’t that be nice? But alas, every silver lining has a cloud.
All that soot in the air is actually blocking out the sun and keeping us all just that little bit cooler.
When it is gone, it is confidently predicted the world will heat up rather fast.
Another point 7 degrees. 1.8 + .7= 2.5 degrees, locked in!
Sorry, it gets worse.
4 -Soil Carbon. As the earth heats up, all the co2 trapped in the soil gets released.
It is confidently predicted this will lead to a rise of another 1degree.
2.5 + 1 = 3.5 degrees, locked in!
Sorry, it gets even worser.
3.5 degrees is a global average. In the middle of continents it will be 4 degrees hotter. Unfortunately for the human race, you can’t grow grain at these temperatures, even if the climate were stable, which it is not.
So what can we do here in our little shire? Well, there are many wonderful things we could do. We could ride our bicycles, we could plant trees, we could eat less meat, grow more vegies. But we wont do any of these things will we? It is confidently predicted, we will sit on our bums and wait till the shit hits the fan. Then we will panic.
But panic is not a viable option.
What we can do, is try to imagine what the future will look like, and l am afraid social collapse is looking quite likely: No petrol at the pump, no cash in the ATM, no food in the supermarket: heaven forbid, we suck on the tit, but no milk comes out.
There are dark days ahead, tempers will fray, our humanity will be sorely tested, but our humanity is just what we need to get us through. Bushfires bring out the best in us: We risk our lives to save the old fogies trapped in a cul-de-suc, we gather up the sick, the lame and the befuddled. We look after the animals as best we can. No one is left behind to fend for themselves.
When things get worser, we get betterer.
If we all stick together we can not only survive this calamity, we can flourish!
Ben Boyang 7/10/19
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