I thought I would share with you an article from The Metro newspaper (1 October 2012). On page nineteen there is a very small article entitled: Earth ‘four years from disaster’. Here is the article in its entirety:
FAILURE to address the threat of climate change is ‘reckless and short-sighted’, campaigners claim. Global policies have ‘taken us backwards’, with the world four years away from dangerous surges in temperature, a collection of dozens of charities and individuals say. The EU agreed rises should not exceed 2C (3.6F) if the worst impacts were to be avoided. Supporters including designer Dame Vivienne Westwood urged politicians to invest in a huge energy efficiency drive.
To summarise the article:
1 We are 4 years away from dangerous surges in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere.
2 Lets deal with this scenario by urging our politicians to engage in energy efficiency savings.
It is hard to take this even remotely seriously. The situation we are in is assumed to be so dire that we are only 48 months from immense danger, and the proposed solution is to campaign politicians to make efficiency savings! The nature of the twin time-lags – the time-lags of the biogeochemical cycles of the Earth, and the time-lags inherent in cultural/political change, combined with the reality of the societal situation we face (the push for growth in recession-hit ‘developed’ economies, the push for growth in ‘developing’ countries, individual human motivation/desire), mean that this is nonsense. If we are 48 months from immense danger, then the solution is not to urge politicians to make efficiency savings! If we are 48 months from immense danger then the immense forces which are propelling us towards disaster are not going to be stopped by such a futile campaign.
Hope is an admirable attribute. However, if as one gazes up at the night sky one puts a straw into ones mouth and asserts I am hopeful that I can blow the moon out of its orbit, then one should not be taken seriously. One can be admired for one’s ambition, but when the realities of the situation are explained to one then one will come to understand why one’s ‘moon-blowing efforts’ were greeted with laughter.
Clearly, if we are 48 months from dangerous surges in temperature, due to the immense forces that have been gradually unfolding on the planet for thousands of years (the force to environmental destruction), then our only hope is to put the maximum amount of resources possible into our attempts to technologically control the temperature of the atmosphere. The forces which are still building up, the forces which are lurching us towards dangerous future temperature surges, can only be offset by an opposing matching force. If we are able to master the mechanics of technologically regulating the temperature of the atmosphere then dangerous temperature surges can be averted.
I will assume that you want to help the human species and that you want to help the rest of the life-forms which we currently share the planet with. I will assume that you want to prevent dangerous surges in temperature which would threaten humans and our non-human companions. I will assume that you believe that we are 48 months from dangerous temperature surges in the planetary atmosphere. What should you do to help the situation?
Don’t fool yourself into believing that your time would be well spent “urging politicians to make efficiency savings”. This would be a complete waste of your time. Even if you were successful, and the politicians made some efficiency savings, these savings would be swamped by increasing global carbon dioxide emissions over the next 48 months. Besides, the time-lags in the biogeochemical cycles mean that the atmospheric temperature over the next 48 months is largely determined by events that have already happened (in the absence of future technological regulation).
If you want to do something of real value, rather than waste your time, then spend every waking moment urging politicians, environmentalists, academics, the media, charities, and everyone you meet, that the need for full-scale geoengineering of the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere is real and imminent. You might initially be met with resistance, even derision, but in the future you will be looked back on as a hero.