"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof." Barbara Kingsolver
I just hope that the largest part of that sinking sun holds the power of Gaian potential. I`m a hope guy and my passion for the best of our "Blue Planet" is kindled every day, but sometimes I step back and wonder? I`ve just watched a movie, "The Road" (I know its just a movie but?), and it pushed some buttons like a great movie tends to do. The Road is a soulfull and emotionally brutal meditation of existence on a dying planet. They never really explain what killed the planet so I can just imagine? It shows as a journey of hardcore survival, powered by the love of a father for his son, that only endures the horrors with a tantalizing notion of a faint hope? But this didn`t start as a movie review. This really is about hope wrapped in the science of probability, overcoming the neglect of anti-science and Climate Dinosaurs. It is about a different ending for our movie.
So this movie made me wonder about the future. A bleak moment layered in hope. Go figure. And that inspired my lament on apathy for environmental consequences. Yeah I know here he goes with Scientists again, but they are sounding the alarm. I reason that if you need plumbing then go to a plumber; if you need surgery then go to a Doctor and I guess if we need analysis of Climate consequences then we should consider Climate Scientists? They deserve our attention?
"Every climate scientist has his or her own views on some issues that differ from the mainstream in detail. But the broad findings of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) have general support amongst scientists with relevant specialist expertise. The broad wisdom of the IPCC is strongly contested by a small number, and a small minority, of reputed climate scientists. It is not contested by the large majority of specialists, and by the leaders of the relevant learned academies in the countries of great scientific accomplishment." Ross Garnault
I`m interested in real Climate Science but there is an anti-science story that borrows a lot of our time and spends a lot of someone`s money. These are the Climate Dinosaurs. They are usually conservative, they are Republican, they are in denial and they are very much a fringe minority in the scientific community, but they wield large Political and financial power. And unfortunately they have influenced the thinking of too many of us who don`t have the time to know or care about "hypothesis and probability" and dire possibilities. I`m interested in the Karma Dawgs who spell out "pier reviewed" Climate Science in study after study? Let`s go looking for those studies. Lets hear these Dawgs howl!
In 2007, an IPCC Study (again the truth that Climate Dinosaurs try to ignore) showed that, at the rate of rising carbon emissions projected forward, our atmospheric levels of CO2 would reach 1000 ppm by the end of this century!? Holy frack! Even the GreenLand Ice mass likely disappears before we hit 600 ppm, with rising sea level consequences that deserve more time than I have here? Where was the mainstream media when this report came out? 1000 ppm! And it takes a book from noted Climate Blogger Joe Romm to highlight this nightmare. Too much of our Media is worried about Lohan`s jail time and Charlie Sheen`s next party? Poor planet!?
This scientific body further suggests that at those levels of CO2 emissions the average global temperatures could rise 10-14 degrees C. That kind of hothouse spells catastophe. Imagine an iceless world with crazy, lifeless high sea levels and deserts spanning the planet. Luckily you and I won`t see that but what about the kids, and their kids? But hey, who can believe the IPCC? I need to dig deeper into this?
I find an April 2009 report by Scientists of the National Council for Atmospheric Research (verify their unique and staid credibility here NCAR) that states that the "threat of Global Warming" would deminish if this world`s nations cut emissions of "heat-trapping Green House Gases" by 70% this century. The report says that if we don`t comply then we are on track for CO2 atmospheric levels of 750 ppm. That`s a little better, just short of Apocalypse, but lets dig deeper again?
In 2008, NASA, Yale, Sheffield and other Science bodies contributed a study indicating that if we rise above 450 ppm CO2 in atmosphere, (as it is headed at the present rate of emissions), then we risk returning the planet to an ice free state with sea levels 200ft higher? More risk for the Dinosaurs? There must be profit somewhere in this?
Then I stumble on another 2009 study from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) which models a temp rise of 5.1 degrees C by 2100. Their projection is for CO2 content in atmosphere of, a slightly mind numbing, 866 ppm by 2095. Great, that spells more of that havoc on storm volatility, rising sea levels and desperate drought. The search goes on but trust me it`s more and more of the same!
It`s not rocket science to wonder how we can possibly ignore the building and alarming evidence for a future Climate Storm? Yet we (Developed Economies) continue our usual gorge at the casino-capitalist trough while China, India, Brazil, Korea and others grow at the rate that stock markets fantacize for? Will we follow the Oil and Coal money to a carbon emission fever?
This can`t end well without a dramatic historic effort at controlling the Political consequences of our future economies. We need to coral the "Dinosaurs" in their extinction box, let loose the reasoning of Scientists (IPCC and so many others) and consider the next wave of economists (Raj Patel and others) who value the future social-eco consequences of our progress. There are key Political moments on the horizon, i,e, COP17 in South Africa, and there is still hope that leadership from Obama (he`s the key) can pull China into a Climate Agreement that "walks the talk", unlike Kyoto which was all talk. And now a Storm Clock is ticking!
This should lead down a different "Road" than that movie. Let those "Dawgs" out and maybe we`ll feel a crazy, "Egyptian like Freedom", that passions Climate Change with a future. The Truth is in the Scientific details and the hope is that Obama and Friends see a "Road" to Blue Skies and 350 ppm CO2! We can`t risk anything less.
"The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true" Carl Sagan