Environmental scientists published a paper in ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ during the first week of August 2018. They invented a new term ‘Hothouse Earth’ to describe the heatwave many of us are passing through. They speak of us “crossing a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come”. It’s time to do something about this.
Is There Time to Do Something or Is It Too Late?
“We could still lurch onto this irreversible pathway even if countries meet their CO2 targets,” the scientists say. Since the warming could turn the natural forces that protect us, into enemies in the next few decades.
The land, oceans and forests absorb 4.5 billion tons of carbon every year, keeping it away from the atmosphere. However, these sinks are becoming so saturated they will soon start emitting more carbon than they absorb. Going back to where we come from is a smart thing to do, when we lose our way. We still have time to do the obvious like, stop behaving like suicidal lemmings.
We Are the Ones in Control Now, But Not For Long
“We are the ones in control right now,” the scientists say. “But once we go past two degrees, the Earth system could tip over from being a friend to a foe. We totally hand over our fate to a system that starts rolling out of equilibrium.”
Global temperatures are currently 1º C above pre-industrial levels. They are rising at a rate of 0.17º C every decade. So 2º C arrives in 60 years’ time when our children are preparing to retire. Surely, for their sake we should stop squabbling over preserving jobs that could cause them terrible, incurable cancers.
Next time we see fresh-faced youngsters rejoicing in their youth, we should ask ourselves do we really want to do that to them? Perhaps it is time to do something now, before it is finally too late. What are you going to do about it personally, today?
Preview Image: Holy Fire from Mission Vego, Orange County