It was heartening to witness the marches throughout the world during international World Environmental Health Day (Sep 26th,2019) , on its heels Global Client Strike Days (ie: week), all of it tied to the UN Client Action Summit in one way or another.
Indeed, certain political bodies have made an effort to inch forward in some form or another in the reduction of CO2 emissions. In (two) words, that's great. In another two, not enough. To quote Greta Thunberg (a very passionate young lady from Sweden) "We'll be watching you."
Don't put too much faith in the governments. Think of their track record. Too little, too late is what we can count on there. We'll need some real leaders to make a difference here.
For argument's sake, let's start with the infamous science. Carbon dioxide passed the 400ppm mark many years ago (Sep 2016). That was a limit which this planet has not experienced for 2.2 million years, but hey, our (Sol) system and its planets are over 4.5 billion, so this is no biggie, right? Interestingly, Scientists have aligned the 405ppm measured limit (which we are arguably closing in on) with a full 2 degree planetary temperature increase.
"So!" exclaim the hoax advocates. "Some polar ice melts, some summer days are a little warmer. This is ALL part of the natural order of things - nothing Earth has not seen before. They're all just making a big deal out of nothing . This is scaremongering to the masses."
Yes, the message is unclear - and is based on projection, linking other negative trends through association - when "this" amount is known (in the climatic record, based on geology), the overall temperature was "this".
I'm being obtuse here for a reason. The actual values of "this" DO NOT matter. The point is the predicted future is "predicated" by the past. The irony is that this future - our future - will not be like the past, it will be very, very different. How can I say this? Simple logic - all the variables are different - things have changed since way back then. It's difficult to transpose the past into the future - doesn't really fit.
One thing most people can agree on is that things are changing. The real question is what will be the new normal - where will all of this end up?
I can state, with absolute surety, it is time to welcome in the unknown...
Does that scare you?
Let me help you with this. There are a few facts I've not presented:
1. Everything is interconnected. Sounds reasonable, but shall I postulate what that could mean in one specific case?
It's a bit impossible to actually measure the total billions of kilograms of water currently migrating from the poles to oceans, but I will say the extra weight is significant. These waters will not evenly distribute themselves, either. Push down on specific tectonic plates, and you get geological instability, which leads to - you guessed it - geological events (earthquakes and volcanoes). I put these events in the category of pretty bad, bad, and very bad.
2. Change is occurring right now.
I don't need to predict anything here, just watch the news. Dare I say the rain forests are burning? Drought in areas, floods in others, die-offs of birds, fish, whales, seals, etc., etc., etc.. We are seeing significant shifts in weather patterns, storms reaching beyond strength into the the once-in-every-100-years patterns. What happens when crops start failing on a global scale? People go hungry. What happens when we destroy the primary producers of oxygen?
3. It's the unanticipated that really hits us hard.
Interconnections are incredibly varied and strange. We've seen disease carrying insect populations (such as ticks with their lyme disease) moving further north, and even more unusual diseases being transmitted by mosquitoes (Zika virus). Our bodies simply aren't prepared for this onslaught.
And we aren't the only ones affected here. Our flora and fauna feel it too. Whole populations of plants from trees to flowers are dying.
Sure, we can anticipate the water levels are going to rise, but there are so many other possibilities at play. If one were to flood ANY specific shoreline city the true effect would go well beyond the immediate relocation of residents. Consider the damage to the environment by our poisons being carried within the water.
The truly insidious nature of the unknown is that we cannot, no matter how hard we try, prepare ourselves for what is coming.
4. The worst of all the facts, is that C02 is just a key - a catalyst - the real warming has yet to be triggered.
It's called methane, and it continues to burst up from the warming ocean floor, and the expansive northern plains of Russia and Canada. Methane is 86 times more effective at retaining heat than carbon dioxide. I present this to you with consideration, we are just at the beginning of this train ride.
The question is, as it was, as it will be, and I'll pose it yet again: Where does it all stop? Will our climate achieve a new balance - or worse is this potentially becoming a runaway system with no stability?
Well take heart. I do believe that entropy will always win. One day in the future the Earth will again be mostly covered in ice - but that is for the geologists of the future, not for any time soon. We'll be gone a long time by then.