I am so, so, tired of writing posts about the latest slaughter of innocent people by maniac shooters in America. Two within twenty-four hours is probably not even a record for the United States of Lunacy.
In fact, that’s all I’m going to write on the subject (at least for today) because there are more important happenings in the world right now, though to view the media reaction you wouldn’t think so.
Instead, let’s consider:
There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years of what needs to be done to combat the climate emergency. If there’s one thing that stands out as having been achieved in that direction, it’s – nothing. Oh, sure, some countries have managed a few wind turbines; the sunnier climes i.e. Arizona, have knocked up a solar generator or two, and some car producers are busy turning out expensive electric vehicles, but the fact is that carbon emissions, which did flatten out slightly for a year or two, have begun climbing steadily again and in 2018 they reached an all-time high.
Electric cars seem to dominate the thoughts of politicians when climate catastrophe is mentioned, but in truth they are not environmentally friendly – they need charging and that means power stations to supply their needs.
It’s estimated there are 1.4 billion cars/buses/trucks on the world’s roads today. But that’s only 8% of saturation point. It’s expected vehicle numbers will double within the next twenty years. Even if they were all electric, the amount of energy needed to keep them charged and running would be colossal. How much electricity would a 48-ton articulated truck have to store in its batteries to move that weight any distance?
The earth is changing rapidly. While China and India are now using more coal than ever before to keep up with energy demands, the Arctic and Antarctic are melting at a rate that’s alarming scientists. Sea level rise is already causing havoc in many low-lying parts of the world, and is set to rise considerably over the next century. Scientists are rightly loathe to make any real commitments on sea level rise, but looking back three million years to the last time the planet was warming to the levels it will rise to in the foreseeable future, an increase of twenty feet (six metres) is quite likely.
The politicians want to bring CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. Unless someone can perform a miracle of technology and suck a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere, (and it would need to be an awful lot as the total weight of CO2 in the atmosphere right now is = 2.996×1012 tonnes, or 5.1480×1018 kg.), then if my maths is any good, which it usually isn’t, I think that works out in real figures to 299,600,000,000 tonnes. If I’m wrong perhaps some mathematical whizz kid can let me know. Of course, it wouldn’t all have to be sucked out, but still an astronomical amount. Even if it were possible, the act of doing so would cause an enormous shift in the equilibrium of the climate with likely catastrophic results for us all.
While caring individuals do their bit to help the environment, it’s never enough. Unless 7.7 billion earthlings change their whole way of life there’s no way we can reverse what is happening to the world today.
The hard truth is there are far too many of us for this planet to sustain. We are adding 82 million of us every year. We all have to be fed, clothed; we need wood for furniture, housing, fuel (the Amazon rain forest (our very lungs) is being ripped up and destroyed at the rate of 150 acres EVERY MINUTE, or by 20,000 square miles every year. 20% of the Amazon has already been destroyed. Our planet has the lungs of a smoker who’s consumed thirty cigarettes a day for fifty years.
The metal cancer cells are clearly visible, doing their deadly work:
Frankly, while some politicians posture and pretend to be concerned about our climate crisis Trump, Bolsonaro, Salvini, Xi Jinping, and others show little interest in saving the planet.
To stand any chance of surviving this critical time the changes to our behavior need to be so radical that it’s almost certain capitalism would collapse. A system based on ripping stuff out of the earth and converting it into saleable goods cannot survive the actions necessary to reverse global warming.
The thought of persuading the world’s population of 7.7 billion people to change so radically is beyond comprehension. The logistics would be near impossible.
After much soul-searching, I have come to believe the unbelievable. We cannot reverse what is happening and eventually, within the next 100 – 200 years, this planet will become uninhabitable for Homo sapiens and most of the creatures we share it with.
We are already seeing the beginning of the end. Human migrations are on the rise and causing an upsurge in fear-induced nationalism. Heatwaves with record high temperatures are fast becoming the norm, coupled with shifting rain patterns and more frequent and deadlier storm systems.
When asked recently in what he intended to invest his vast fortune, Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon responded, “Space travel.”
Perhaps he and his friends are expecting to ‘step off’ this planet at the right moment somewhat as rats might leave a sinking ship.