One item I’d seen earlier this week, but appeared to vanish from media sight was a big indicator of how our envirnoment is suffering, and earlier, too — via Climate Progress:
The concentration of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that drives climate change, hit 402 parts per million this week — the highest level recorded in at least 800,000 years.
SOS — same-old shit, there’s a whole-lot to see, so just stay where you are.
(Illustration found here).
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels spike every spring but this year the threshold was crossed in March, two months earlier than last year.
In fact, it’s happening “at faster rates virtually every decade,” according to James Butler, Director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, a trend that “is consistent with rising fossil fuel emissions.”
400 ppm was long considered a very serious measurement but it isn’t the end — it’s just a marker on the road to ever-increasing carbon pollution levels, Butler explained in an interview on NOAA’s website.
“It is a milestone, marking the fact that humans have caused carbon dioxide concentrations to rise 120 ppm since pre-industrial times, with over 90 percent of that in the past century alone. We don’t know where the tipping points are.”
When asked if the 400 ppm will be reached even earlier next year, Butler responded simply, “Yes. Every year going forward for a long time.”
Mommy, just how far is ‘a long time‘?
Words to define the time, and, cause one to scream loud/louder — from professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and program director of the Scripps CO2 Program, Ralph Keeling: “We’re already seeing values over 400. Probably we’ll see values dwelling over 400 in April and May (when atmospheric carbon peaks). It’s just a matter of time before it stays over 400 forever.”
And ‘forever’ means a long time.
Keeling is the son of renowned climate scientist Dave Keeling, who started the Mauna Loa Observatory in 1958, where the CO2 measurements were made, and for the last 55 years, the station has taken hourly atmospheric CO2 readings from atop a Hawaiian volcano two miles up in the air.
Known as the Keeling Curve, it reveals the tight relationship between the increase in CO2 in the air and the rise in the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. However, in all this shit just about all these climate brainiacs say the safe, living and breathing mark is 350 ppm — so we’re already in shitty water, which is getting even more brown colored.
My old Jeep Comanche smokes a bit — white fumes, mind you, not the sooty-grime of oil belching — and really needs a good tune-up, but I keep putting it off. I’m looking to buy a car to help.
But I just drive faster to escape the smell.
A heavy foot on the gas pedal will indeed get you to where you going quicker — and could kill us all, and help our climate change for the worse:
Emissions from transportation may rise at the fastest rate of all major sources through 2050, the United Nations will say in a report due Sunday.
Heat-trapping gases from vehicles may surge 71 per cent from 2010 levels, mainly from emerging economies, according to a leaked draft, obtained by Bloomberg, of the most comprehensive UN study to date on the causes of climate change.
While transportation accounted for only about 27 per cent of total “end-use” energy in 2010, according to the report, emissions from vehicles have more than doubled since 1970.
They expanded at a faster rate than any other energy end-use sector, to reach seven gigatons of CO2 in 2010.
Road vehicles made up about 80 per cent of the increase.
Seemingly, there’s no winning for losing.
And it ain’t gonna be pretty, either. Writer and cultural historian Rebecca Solnit at the Guardian on Monday provides some ugly verbiage:
In every arena, we need to look at industrial-scale and systemic violence, not just the hands-on violence of the less powerful.
When it comes to climate change, this is particularly true.
Exxon has decided to bet that we can’t make the corporation keep its reserves in the ground, and the company is reassuring its investors that it will continue to profit off the rapid, violent and intentional destruction of the Earth.
That’s a tired phrase, the destruction of the Earth, but translate it into the face of a starving child and a barren field – and then multiply that a few million times.
Or just picture the tiny bivalves: scallops, oysters, Arctic sea snails that can’t form shells in acidifying oceans right now.
Or another superstorm tearing apart another city.
Climate change is global-scale violence, against places and species as well as against human beings.
Once we call it by name, we can start having a real conversation about our priorities and values.
Because the revolt against brutality begins with a revolt against the language that hides that brutality.
The huge, atomic-power problem, however, is/are assholes. People will die because these people are allowing the consequences of human-asshole-workings to become a joke — the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, controlled by a bunch of pranksters, on full display at a meeting late last month.
An stinging example via Scientific American:
Several members, for example, appeared to be trying to mock rather than engage Holdren on climate change.
“I may want to get your cellphone number, Dr. Holdren,” said Representative Randy Weber (R–TX), “because, if we go through another few cycles of global warming and cooling, I may need to ask you when I should buy my long coat on sale.”
We be fucked…