Climate Change Choo Choo

October 8, 2009

There’s something I just don’t understand regarding climate change/global warming, although there’s plenty of opinions (Truism — opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one) about this horrifying weather/sky/ground/ocean-related event barreling square at humanity, and with seemingly a lot of multi-verified science to warrant near panic — Why isn’t climate change taken more seriously?

Does many more of the earth’s so-called civilized urban centers have to become Mars-looking Melbourne, Australia (depicted in the surreal artwork at left), before real action is taken — way more than just tree-hugging, plastic-hating and recycling.

(Illustration found here).

The earth is in such a fix, major adjustments are required, and from what I’ve gleaned from a little bit of knowledge (and far-less-real-science jargon understanding) is yesterday might have been too late — can mankind step back quickly from the threshold, or in the words of David Letterman, “We Are Dead Meat“?

Seemingly to me, the main focus is the mix of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere — detailed to parts per million (ppm) — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its report in 2007 with a 450 ppm as the stated goal to flatten CO2 and thus reduce global warming — in the last couple of years that benchmark, however, has been lowered, now to 350 ppm. (As an aside: I could never write any kind of science blog, just don’t got the brains — I can understand while reading, but within seconds that knowledge is most likely replaced by something off ‘Family Guy’).

Best site to stay informed is climateprogress.org — a good timely piece was posted there this afternoon with the timely and apt title: Is it just too damn late? Part 1, the Science.
The short answer: No.
The money snip:

I don’t think the basic story should be a surprise to regular readers of this blog. We’re in big, big trouble, and we’re not yet politically prepared to do what is necessary to avert catastrophe — as I’ve said many times. But that is quite different from concluding it’s too late and we’re doomed.

A good rendition/background and the economics of the 450 ppm and the 350 ppm CO2 situation can be found here.

The big problem that I can see is the advancement of climate change — a lot of these scientific research papers and reports are based on models and a lot of science-laced predictions.
Climate change is happening faster than previously supposed — stories here and here.
A snippet from the site Global Warming:

The IPCC Fourth Report confirms that over the past 8,000 years, and just before Industrialisation in 1750, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere increased by a mere 20 parts per million (ppm).
The concentration of atmospheric CO2 in 1750 was 280ppm, and increased to 379 ppm in 2005.
That is a whopping increase of 100 ppm in 250 years.
For comparison and at the end of the most recent ice age there was approximately an 80ppm rise in CO2 concentration. This rise took over 5,000 years, and higher values than at present have only occurred many millions of years ago.

Another factor in the ability to combat approaching bad levels of climate change is the intense and turbulent anxiety of the age — most-likely for the vast bulk of US peoples climate-change consequences are just on the peripheral vision of thought, if there at all.
Two horrible wars — one about to implode — a coming oil problem and a US economy described as a dead man walking does present major preoccupation notions.

Only time will upset the cart.

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