The consequences are clear

Not then but now.

Heatwaves and the heavy rains that cause flooding have become more intense and more frequent since the 1950s in most parts of the world, and climate change is now affecting all inhabited regions of the planet. Drought is increasing in many places and it is more than 66% likely that numbers of major hurricanes and typhoons have risen since the 1970s…

And the consequences of humanity’s massive act of atmospheric interference are now clear: what is hot today will become hotter tomorrow; extreme floods will become more frequent, wildfires more dangerous and deadly droughts more widespread. In short, things can only get worse.

And they can only get worse faster. It’s happening fast. The massive wildfires are not a gradual thing.

Indeed, by the end of the century they could become threatening to civilisation if emissions are allowed to continue at their present rate.

If you ask me they’re threatening now.

In fact, they could become utterly catastrophic with the occurrence of world-changing events – such as continent-wide forest die-backs or collapsing Antarctic ice sheets, says Prof Andrew Watson of Edinburgh University. “The IPCC report gives a comprehensive update on the knowns of climate change, and that makes for grim reading. But it also makes the point that climate models don’t include ‘low probability-high impact’ events, such as drastic changes in ocean circulation, that also become more likely the more the climate is changed. These ‘known unknowns’ are scarier still.”

Or the collapse of the Gulf Stream, as we saw the other day.

The rest of the piece is about the need for radical action starting right now, and…we all know that’s not going to happen. It’s as if there are two planes, that don’t meet at any point. On one plane the earth is heating up like a skillet on a hot burner and we have to make drastic changes starting immediately, and on the other plane we can’t get people to wear masks during a pandemic, we can’t get people to drive less and walk more, we can’t get people to stop throwing litter out of their cars as they barrel down the freeway. Yes we have to make drastic changes immediately, and no there’s no way anybody can make that happen.

4 Responses to “The consequences are clear”