It’s Worse Than Anyone Thought

It’s still referred to many places as “global warming,” but that phrase — though technically accurate — does not convey the seriousness of the probem, or its magnitude. “Catastrophic climate change” may sound rash, or desperate, but that’s what we face, and according to the latest data, it’s closer than anyone predicted.

Tim Flannery, the Australian scientist who’s regarded as the shrewdest and best-informed observer, says new data gathered by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that the level of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere has already reached critical levels.

What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that can potentially cause dangerous climate change. We are already at great risk of dangerous climate change, that’s what these figures say. It’s not next year or next decade, it’s now.

It’s a worldwide issue. We’ve had growing economies everywhere, we’re still basing that economic activity on fossil fuels. The metabolism of that economy is now on a collision course clearly with the metabolism of our planet.

What does it mean? It means that your plans to get a hybrid next time you buy a new car are out of date. Start thinking bicycle. It means that torrential storms and prolonged drought will become normal in regions where they’ve never been known before. It means homes many miles inland may, in a few years, be ocean-front property. It means that paying for the Iraq war may not be as important for our grandchildren as finding food to eat and a safe place to sleep.

The only amusement value in all this may come from watching Adminstration spokepeople trying to make the threat disappear in a puff of smoke and mirrors.


3 thoughts on “It’s Worse Than Anyone Thought

  1. I think you’d have to be sheltered from TV, radio, written word and the internet not to recognize what we’re facing. But you know 90% of the people I talk to in the US must not get out much or don’t know how to read. Why is it just a few of us that seem to care or acknowledge what we’re facing?

    I’ve changed my profession, quit flying, bought a hybrid (bicycle is still in the garage) and shopping locally for absolutely everything we can. Oh and I’m buying 100% organic now, switched to wind and solar power and making it my business to be green.

    Keep writing and talking about global warming – at least when things start falling apart – you and I will know we did all we could to try to stop it or slow it down.


  2. Now if we could all just practice what you preach, maybe we could end this horror. But for most people, and I am no exception, we are too spoiled, too lazy and too disiterested to even try. All I do is recycle.

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