The Facts on Climate Change
  • 1 gal of gas = 100 tons of ancient plants
  • Every year the world is now burning up in 1 year 1 million years worth of energy captured by those ancient plants
  • The result is that: “Human releases of carbon dioxide are possibly happening faster than any natural carbon releases since the beginning of life on Earth.” (260) [Six Degrees by Lynas.]
  • Heat, droughts, fires, extreme storms and rain, floods, melting ice, rising sea levels, species extinction
  • A careful study from 2012 indicated that already by then 400,000 people had died as a direct result of climate change. [2012 was before some of the most deadly effects of recent years so number is higher.]
  • The media is not telling us what is going on!
  • Warming is happening much faster than predicted. 14 of 15 hottest years ever recorded are since 2000. (Other one is 1998.) 2014 was hottest ever. 2015 was .16C warmer than 2014. 2016 hotter than 2015 – 14 hottest months in a row hottest ever recorded to Sept 2016. .16 C x 12 = 2 Degrees.
What is going to happen unless we act and act immediately and dramatically?

2 degrees warmer than pre-industrial average is now inevitable. The Paris Agreement (Dec. 2015) goal was 2 degrees but aim for 1.5. But in 2016 we may already be at 1.5. Paris agreement compliance is voluntary and requirements are far from sufficient.

“The difference between 2 and 4 is human civilization.” [Quote is by John Schellnhuber, “one of the world’s most influential climate scientists” found in Don’t Even Think About It by Marshall, p. 241. Also on this website from 2012 (check out the website, though even in 2012 predictions were far from where we are today in 2016).]

A 3-degree warmer world has not been known since the Pliocene, 3 million years ago. It includes 25 meters of sea-level rise, the end of the Amazon rain forest, huge hurricanes, even more devastating drought and flooding, the Sahara extending as far north as France, tropical temperatures that result in disaster. [Six Degrees by Lynas.]

3º Degrees: destabilizing carbon feedback loops might free substantial methane from warming tundra. Although methane is not as long lived in the atmosphere as CO2 it is more than 80x more powerful as a greenhouse gas. The release of methane could create a runaway-warming scenario beyond human ability to control or respond. [Six Degrees by Lynas.] (Pacala calls these kinds of feedbacks "monsters behind the door." "It's just a question of when they come out," he says.)

4 Degrees: tremendous heat waves hotter than anything in the millions of years of human evolution, the loss of all polar ice, collapse of food production in China, the western half of India, southern Africa, Australia, and the western United States, large areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea would have to be abandoned. [Six Degrees by Lynas.] Flooding will overtake at least 500 million.

5 & 6 Degrees: The predicted future looks back to both the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) when the Antarctic was covered with forest and vast swaths of the Earth were simply uninhabitable. And, then, at 6º, the Permian Extinction, when 95% of life on Earth, on land and in the seas, was wiped out likely by exploding fireballs of methane released from warming sea beds, [quote] “a major oceanic methane eruption… would liberate energy… around 10,000 times greater than the world’s [entire] stockpile of nuclear weapons.” (257). [Six Degrees by Lynas.]

After the Permian Extinction it was 20 million years before the Earth again teemed with life.

Climate change is the most important issue facing the planet and all of us. Indeed, it is the most important issue human beings have ever faced.