IS THERE STILL HOPE?
Most of Northern United States, Russia and Northern Europe were covered with ice 18,000 years ago. That ice melted, but it took 6,000 years to do so. Before the ice melted, Florida was almost twice as wide as it is now. This happened before there were homo-sapiens on earth, so there was no worry that millions of people had to adapt to these changes. If there had been cities with millions of people living in them, the glaciers melting would have wiped them out as the coastlines changed and ate up land.
The science of climate change is different than weather. Weather is unpredictable, but climate can be studied and conclusions can be made from history. What has been happening since around 1880, the beginning of the industrial age, can be documented.
As Carl Pope, author of “Climate of Hope” says, “The overwhelming consensus of scientists who study the atmosphere and climate is that current levels of man-made greenhouse pollutants are large enough to produce very serious disruption of the climate, with potentially catastrophic impacts.” Unfortunately climate skeptics, most famous among them being Charles Koch, the billionaire who has made his billions through fossil fuels, don’t believe we need to do anything about this.
Most of this rapid heating of the earth has been caused by emissions from fossil fuels coming from our homes, our cars, and our agriculture and cattle. CO2 emissions stay in the air for thousands of years. So what we have now will be there for a long time and what we put into the atmosphere over the next 50 years will stay there a long time also. We can expect weather events like what happened in the last month to happen more often and with more severity.
It is time for us to face the facts and begin a program of land, water and energy conservation. We will have to quickly adapt to the rapid changes that are coming and also mitigate those changes by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. There is hope, but only if we take action.