Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

If this is really true, words are inadequate

Dahr Jamail takes a walk on the dark side of climate science -- that minority, but a substantial and credible minority, of scientists who are staring into the abyss. These are the ones who foresee strong positive feedback effects on climate as melting permafrost causes massive releases of methane into the atmosphere. They believe it is possible that global average temperatures will jump by 3 or 4 degrees centigrade on the time scale of a couple of decades. They foresee acceleration of the ongoing mass extinction, and the destruction of life support for the vast majority of the human species. Seriously folks, they're talking about remnant populations in the arctic and Antarctica.

And no, these people are not on the fringe. The point is, the forecasts we generally see are consensus forecasts -- they're somewhere down the middle, in fact somewhat conservative.

How about this prediction? Climate change will not be an important issue in the 2014 or 2016 political seasons. We aren't going to pull our collective heads out of the sand until it's so hot our eyebrows burn off. This must be our relentless focus, our most important political demand. Stop burning fossil fuel.

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

Absolutely the most important issue of our time, and it hardly warrants a headline. It is probably already too late, but there is no will whatsoever to make any changes that could even forestall the inevitable. It ain't gonna be pretty when the reality hits.