In Scientific Consensus on Maintaining Humanity’s Life Support Systems in the 21st Century: Information for Policy Makers (pdf) makes for depressing reading. We’re well on the way to stuffing up the planet’s climate, we’re causing species extinctions at a rate not seen since an asteroid hit the planet 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs, we’ve transformed 40% of the ice-free land on the planet through farming, logging and building towns and cities, we’re polluting the atmosphere and oceans, and population and resource consumption are growing fast.
All of these impacts feed on each other, and make it more likely that the planet will pass through tipping points that lead to irreversible changes. It’s not enough to work on just one issue — we have to work on all of them at the same time, and quickly. The longer we leave it, the more expensive and difficult it will be to prevent crisis turning into disaster. “Delaying even a decade may be too late,” the statement warns.
This is a huge challenge for the political process around the world. Progress on climate change — a problem first identified in the 1980s — has been pitifully slow. Economic and political inertia, exploited by industries that stand to lose if carbon emissions are cut, have made meaningful international action all but impossible to achieve. Thirty years of fine talk and empty promises mean that we’re now staring down the barrel of irreversible and highly damaging climate change.
It’s difficult to be optimistic that the world is suddenly going to sit up and pay attention. There’s too much money to be made, and influence to be bought, by carrying on with business as usual. Ultimately the planet will find a way to deal with humanity’s impacts if we don’t, and the outcome is unlikely to be pretty.
Core message from my YouTube talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFhNyWHv0qQ&feature=youtu.be
Let go – or be dragged – but NEVER GIVE UP
I am letting go of the notion that homo sapiens will inhabit this planet beyond 2030.
I am letting go of the notion that within a few short years, there will still be any comfortable habitat for humans anywhere.
I am letting go of the notion that we will retain even one percent of the species currently in Earth beyond 2050.
But I am not letting go of the notion of resistance, for that is what makes me human.
Feel GOOD to be alive – always, every day
Don’t consume ANYTHING you don’t need
We are the most creative creatures on the planet
LETS USE IT