We may well be in bad trouble

albert - June 12, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

I know we’re not supposed to talk about it but I think it’s time we did anyway. I’ve grown up to feel embarrassed to admit this, like it’s a childish thing to worry about, but the state of the science on and our response to global warming has recently got me unnerved. Two things in particular set this off. Firstly, this piece by Ezra Klein.

If you were going to weaponize an issue to take advantage of the weak points in the American political system — to highlight all the blind spots, dysfunctions, and irrationalities — you would create climate change. And then you would stand back and watch the world burn.

Either way, we’ve waited so long to begin cutting emissions that two degrees looks flatly impossible. We’re on track for 4°C of warming — which is nearly the temperature difference between the world now and the Ice Age. That’s a nightmare for the planet. The World Bank tried to model it and realized that they had no idea what would happen — or whether humans could manage. There’s “no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible,” they concluded.

Secondly, this xkcd

80 years. Steady advance of western medicine or not, I probably won’t still be here in 80 years but I’d like for Olivia and Charlotte to be surrounded by their great grandkids, having lived a life full of peace and hope and wonder. It makes me sick to think of the world they’ll grow old in being one that can only support a fraction of the population it can today and for my family and me to watch the world as it crumbles.

I’m very concerned. I wrote this because I want to be active in this fight. That has to be more than talking about it on the internet but maybe writing it here is a way of committing myself. I also wrote it here because I know some of you who will read it will think I’m being dramatic and foolish. If you think so, please don’t hesitate to tell me. The penalty for being wrong on this is too huge for us all to not be talking about it, whatever our core beliefs.

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