Surviving climate change or too late?
Can we work together to fix what is broken in our climate?
We only have a few years before our climate becomes unsurvivable, according to scientists and educators. Change is already evident all around the world. Are we close to the destruction of humanity? Can we keep our planet alive?
All experts believe we are in grave danger. Like the seven blind men and the elephant, they disagree about the shape and texture of the beast, yet all agree that it is big, strong and dangerous unless tamed.
Most questions arise on which CO2 measure is most meaningful, on how much is man-caused rather than determined by natural sources, and of course, whether the main culprit is the fossil fuel industry.
Question (1): How do we know if it is too late? When will we know we have gone too far?
Answer: We may be awfully close, as measured by annual rise in temperature and CO2 concentration.
An article by “EarthTalk” in a 2015 Scientific American issue.includes study results that point to 2042 is the tipping point based on the annual increase in CO2 concentration of 1.92 ppm. Greenpeace has said we only have until around 2020 to significantly cut back on greenhouse gas output around the world.
Question (2): Can We Still Avoid the Worst Impacts of Climate Change?
Answer: Maybe. The international movement 350.org is a good source for updates on how we are progressing and what we can do. The non-profit group, founded by writer and activist William McKibben and others, is dedicated to reducing atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm, which they believe is attainable.
- HOW can we help make a cut back on CO2 output?
- HAVE we cut back since the 2015 study cited above?
- William McKibben on “Getting to 350”: [link to McKibben subpage]
- Information: Geos Institute, www.geosinstitute.org; and 350.org, www.350.org.
- Earthtalk on “Reducing CO2 “: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reducing-atmospheric-co2
- Earthtalk on “Point of no return”: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/have-we-passed-the-point-of-no-return-on-climate-change/
Additional articles and videos on the question of Is It Too Late.
– Pat Adams