(Ten-minute read)

The honest answer is nobody knows.


It’s no longer an academic question or a question to be arguing from a position of hope.

Dealing with the impact on the environment requires concerted action, not just by a few, but by everyone.

With increasing frequency, evidence of global warming and climate change are making headlines around the world. Politicians, while giving lip service to the dangers that lie ahead for the planet, lack a fundamental understanding of either the dangers or the solution to the problem.

They all promise a technological solution but fail to grasp the social context which makes the problem difficult to solve.

The urgency and complicated nature of a solution put humanity at a distinct disadvantage and many scientists involved in the study of our planet concur that if we act now, we would only be able to make a difference in what is happening by the end of the century.

The problem is that the situation is growing more desperate and yet those in power are not.

Why are these issues so difficult to address?

Because the crisis looms because of the power of money of the oil companies. They have a vested interest in not developing other forms of energy to compete with oil.

Because the present shifts we are experiencing are not global.

At present, there is no chain reaction around the world that pushes Earth into a terrifying new hothouse state from which there is no return.

Because of the diagnosis of climate change is still a scientific issue, the response to it is not.

Because the world, after 30 years of warnings, has barely got to grips with reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is, for example, a question of regulation, while investing in renewable energy is a policy choice, and modernising our housing stock to make it energy efficient is about overcoming the lobbying power of the building industry the energy industry.

Because while extracting new fossil fuels continuing, we are on course for another 2C or 3C to transform Earth this century. At best we are flatlining, with investments in Green energy.

Because none of this climate change will be smooth, gradual and linear changes. It may be fast, abrupt, and dangerous surprises may happen.

Because climate migration is already happening.

Europe is not coping well with even modest numbers of migrants, and future flows look likely to increase substantially as migration itself is an adaptation to rapid climate change.

How will the cooler, richer parts of the world react to tens of millions of people escaping the hotter, poorer parts?

Because if we throw into the mix long-term stagnating incomes for most people across the west and climate-induced crop failures causing massive food price spikes and we have a recipe for widespread unrest that could overload political institutions.

Because we now have inward-looking nationalists that will move us further away from the internationalism needed to ensure the continuation of stable global food supplies and to manage migration humanely. And without cooperative internationalism serious carbon dioxide mitigation will not happen, meaning the underlying drivers of the problems will exacerbate, leading to a lock-in of a deteriorating, isolationist, fascist future.

We are facing the same three choices in response to climate change as we did before this scorching summer:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), make changes to reduce the adverse impacts of the new conditions we create (adaptation), or suffer the consequences of what we fail to mitigate or adapt to.

So what can be done?

In order to alter the direction of climate change, an effective strategy, based on a consensus between developing and industrialized nations, is essential.

This agreement must address the social factors inherent in the system- inequality.

Politicians will need to understand the real issues involved in technology and its social aspects and adopt plans which will have long term goals.

Can the damage done be reversed? Only time can tell, but climate change is certainly becoming increasingly apparent, and immediate action is necessary if irreparable damage is to be averted.

Given the colossal wealth and the scientific knowledge available today, we can solve many of the world’s pressing problems and all live well.

Given that our environmental impacts are so long-lasting, the future is the politics we make today. The future is up to us if we act collectively and engage in politics.

As I have suggested in previous posts all activities that are profit for profit sake should be made to contribute to a world aid fund. ( See previous posts) Market forces are really important — and that they could be harnessed to fight climate change.

No governments,no countries, no companies, no forms of taxation, no non-binding promises, no tree planting, no electric cars, no world organisations , no one person, no protests, no declaration of an emergency, no extensions, no amount of warming, no amounts of warnings, no natural disasters will make any financial contributions to the trillion that are going to be needed.

We all know our world is in a state of crisis but we have seen nothing yet that is going to accompany climate change.

I am sure that there is no need to draw the picture.

We do know some incontrovertible facts, however. CO2 concentrations, temperatures and sea levels are all rising.

Why are we being such idiots about climate change?

Climate change deniers say nothing is certain. True, we don’t know if the planet will be two degrees or ten degrees warmer in 2100. Yes, humans may be causing climate change, but trying to do anything meaningful would collapse the economy and send us back to the Dark Ages.

The sobering truth is that the planet has already been responding faster than expected. It’s crushingly obvious that fighting climate change should be one of the world’s top priorities.

What gives?

It’s not that they are stupid or blind. Instead, they seem to firmly believe that climate solutions inevitably mean more government, higher taxes and less freedom — and thus are threats to their core values and identity. Dire warnings of the looming climate disaster may just make people throw up their hands in despair, sink into denial, or dig their heels in deeper against government action.

So here’s where we now stand.

We have a pretty clear understanding of the threat climate change poses to us, our children and our grandchildren. We are already being forced to cope with more droughts, more floods, more extreme storms. At the same time, we have in our arsenal effective policies that are difficult for rational people to demagogue as crippling to the economy or as a subversion of our cherished way of life.

We thus face a stark choice. Do we let future historians excoriate us for our failure to act in time? Or do we step up to meet the challenge?

So it’s really up to you.

Insist that climate change be a key issue in elections and all future elections.

Combat the lies and deceit from the Koch brothers/ Donald Dump Presidents and other deep-pocketed climate deniers. Push for a reasonable fee on carbon and for incentives for renewable energy (and energy efficiency steps) at all levels of government.

Make Greed Pay:

To day we celebrate man landing on the moon. In not the so distant future we could be celberating the last man on earth.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.