Part 14: Climate destabilization
Anchor Brian Williams at NBC reported that Glacier National Park plummeted from 128 glaciers at the beginning of the last century to less than 10 today. Those last 10 won’t last much longer. Why? Warm weather and more of it on the way. The same goes for glaciers in the Himalaya, Andes, Rockies and Alps.
You may hear a great deal on climate change one way or the other, but glaciers don’t lie—they melt when the weather warms for longer periods of time.
Many Americans run on emotions and others run on denial. Frankly, most don’t have a clue and really don’t care. As long as their cars start in the morning, who notices much of a change in anything?
Nonetheless, humans burn 84 million barrels of oil per day. How much oil? To give you an idea of that quantity of oil, you may take one barrel or ‘drum’ that equals 42 gallons. Each measures 20 inches in diameter, and if you placed 84,000,000 of them next to each other in a row—they would create a belt of drums that spans 25,000 miles around the world at the Equator. Humans fill those drums up and burn them down 24/7, decade in and decade out. Do the math or go to www.thesocialcontract.com and look in the archives for “How much oil do we burn” by Dr. John Tanton.
In his book, Too Many People, Lindsey Grant addresses such things as our energy depletion, food crisis and much more. You may find his book at www.sevenlockspress.com and www.amazon.com . Grant is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Population Affairs.
CLIMATE AND ENERGY
When you include billions of tons of coal, natural gas and wood, the human race creates untold billions of tons of carbon emissions worldwide 24/7. The U.S. alone burns 2.17 billion tons of coal annually for electricity.
Something must give in the short and long term. The planet never intended to experience current fossil fuel burning. In 2010, we expect to create eight billion metric tons of carbon emissions worldwide.
No matter how you cut it, human activity on this planet defies any norms of the past. But even if it’s not caused by human activity, climate destabilization will affect all of us.
“The International Panel of Climate Change is the recognized scientific consensus on climate change,” said Grant. “It predicted a ‘most likely’ warming of 2 degrees C by 2100, with more to follow…and it has described the likely effects: wide swings of weather, more storms, floods and droughts; rising sea levels of 20 inches or more in the next century; higher temperatures and increased aridity in the tropics.”
My question grows: how will that affect the United States with an added 100 million hungry mouths and how will it affect the world with another three billion mouths to feed in the next 40 years?
NOBODY WILL ASK THOSE QUESTIONS, BUT THEY BETTER
“A smaller population would have some margin to adapt or to move elsewhere,” said Grant. “As a matter of precaution, communities should provide themselves wider margins to adjust to such changes. Too many people are living too close to the edge.”
Tell me about it! I’ve seen that ‘edge’ in China, Mexico, India and elsewhere. With 18 million humans starving to death annually around the world, they fall over the edge by the day into the millions!
CARBON FOOTPRINT GROWING
“Atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to 363 ppm today,” said Grant. “It amazes me how casually the human race is tinkering with the very air it breathes.”
One look at the skies over Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Mexico City, Paris, Beijing and Tokyo illustrates what it’s like to be able to ‘see’ the air you breathe. Toxic air borne poisons fill your every breath!
“It is a sobering thought that, if the world had stopped population growth by 1960—when it was half the present level—we would now be a long way toward the “50 percent to 70 percent reduction” called for by the IPCC,” said Grant. “If it had stopped at two billion, we would not have a problem.”
“The modern plague of overpopulation is solvable by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not the sufficient knowledge of the solution, but the universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem for billions of people who are its victims.” Dr. Martin Luther King
Denver Post April 8, 2010 ##