'Uninhabitable: A Case for Caution' is Released
As Earth Day this year approaches, C.S. Goldsmith speaks of the current state the world is in in regards to climate change. Addressed in his book, "Uninhabitable: A Case for Caution,"is a warning to the current generation and for future generations to start paying more attention to what is occurring in regards to global warming and climate change.
People around the globe are waking up to the realization that the governments and corporations are not going to do what is necessary to avoid the worst-case scenarios of climate change. A grassroots movement of citizens around the world is vowing to change their buying, voting and procreation habits in a last-ditch effort to dodge the extinction of thirty to forty percent of all the species on the planet, including perhaps ourselves.
The cost of global warming will be two trillion dollars by 2030. Waiting to fully address the problem until 2050, it is estimated to cost 44 trillion dollars.
With a thirty-year lag to realize the full impact of the heat tracers already built up in our oceans, we are already committed to a rapidly changing environment that we have no experience of surviving in over the last ten thousand years.
A third of our world could be turned into desert.
2017 was the ninth year of increasingly warmer temperatures around the world. The last three years were the hottest years over recorded. Over 1,000 weather records were broken last year in the U.S alone. There are usually 200 tornadoes by spring. This year, there have been 465 and counting. Around 500 severe thunder and hail storms are the norm; this year has had over 1,500.
Wallace Boecker, the dean of climate scientists, says, "We are in for big trouble as there has been a true disruption of the climate of the planet."
We are just at the beginning of volatile climate change that could cause civilization as we have known it to collapse.
Kevin Anderson of the Tydel Center for Climate Change says, "If a four-degree Celsius increase is allowed to occur, only 10% of the human population will likely survive."
The most dangerous feedback loop of all, methane is escaping in large quantities from northern Siberia. Soil that was frozen year-round for millennia is now thawing and releasing large quantities of methane, in some cases building up enough pressure to blow right out of theground, creating 13 feet wide and 334 feet deep holes. The Scientific American research team estimates that between 5 to 15% of the 1,580 billion metric tons of the methane currently stored in the 16.7 million square miles of the northern hemisphere could escape, making containment of global warming far more difficult. During the PETM extinction event 55 million years ago, temperatures rose by 9 degrees in just 13 short years, turning the oceans acidic. It took the Earth 200,000 years to recover and return to normal. Many scientists believe current climate models look as if humans are duplicating those conditions today with industrial CO2 emissions. Methane also played the central role 255 million years ago when 95% of all life on Earth went extinct during the Permian period, or the great dying. When methane raises up its head, as it has done for the first time in 2016, it is time to pay very close attention.
Pulitzer Prize winner Ross Gelbspan says, "The continuation of Global Warming at the current rate unabated would cause planetary conditions that will all but certainly end civilization as we know it."
At the root of the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis, and that is why the "One and done" slogan of only having just one child is catching on with women around the world. Slowing the population growth would save one fifth of all carbon emissions.
A human being living to 70 years of age in the U.S. or Europe will use around 300 tons of carbon.
Deaths from Climate Change in 2016 were around 400,000 people; by 2030, it is projected to grow to around 6 million.
By 2050, ten percent of the animals and eleven to seventeen percent of plant species will die off. The carrying capacity of the planet or our ability to feed the people on it is projected to drop between five to fifteen percent while our population expands to between nine to eleven billion people. Something has to give. That something is us!
Ignoring or denying the risk does not banish it or reduce the risk. There is no other way than to deal with it but to face up to it, understand it as best we can and take action to prevent it.
If we let the energy companies and our governments dig up the remaining 29 trillion tons of fossil fuels and burn it for energy, sending that dead carbon back up into our atmosphere it will drive our temperatures up to 5 to 10 degrees Celsius. That would render the Earth uninhabitable to all large life forms, including perhaps ourselves. Our ability to adapt is below eight degrees Celsius; after that, as a species, we are simply outside our adaptation zone.
Unfortunately, because of thirty years of denial and procrastination, it is now time to seriously consider Geo-engineering as a backup plan, should we fail to contain CO2 at the 2 degrees Celsius limit set by the Paris accord. But if history is any indicator, we have literally blown past every benchmark set for containing CO2 since the Kyoto treaty of 1997. A backup plan will be necessary and will most likely buy us some time to try to figure out how to survive long enough to find a solution to the Climate Change problems.
The Carnegie Climate Geo-engineering Research Institute suggests reducing levels of greenhouse gasses by large-scale manipulation of oceanic fertilization, re-forestation, or injecting sulfur particles up into the atmosphere to reflect the sun's heat rays.
Bjorn Lomborg, a renowned climate scientist, says, "We will not give up fossil fuels that make our lives richer until we create cheaper clean energy to replace them and offer people incentives to adopt them."
We are fast approaching the last exit to do something to change the head-on collision course with nature that we are on. Beyond this point lies uncharted territory.
In George Marshall's new book, "Don't Even Think About it: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change," he points out that we as a species have not evolved to deal with slow-moving, invisible challenges. If it was an immediate threat like a tribal conflict or it repulsed us, like hurting defenseless animals, then we would have already addressed it and gone a long way to solving it.
One thing is certain, deal with it we must, if we are to survive as a species and have anything left to our children, grandchildren, and the generations to come of our beautiful natural world.
To learn more about the topics discussed, a copy of "Uninhabitable: A Case for Caution" is available directly from Goldstar Publications by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for $23.95 or at Barnes & Noble/Amazon.com
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