If the Republican party does succeed in filibustering landmark climate legislation that Majority Leader Senator Reid brings to a vote this month, we will end the world as we have known it. This Earth will become what Bill McKibben calls Eaarth, a unknown new planet, with temperature and other changes never before experienced by humans. The last time the planet was that warm was millions of years before humans evolved.
What will that new world look like? Where will it be safer to pass down property to your grandchildren? Which regions will still have water? Google Earth has just come out with this new overlay to show how different regions will fare under the “business as usual” scenario.
The KML layer launched today by Climate change minister Greg Barker. The impact of a global temperature rise of 4C shows the effects of a 4 C rise (about 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century.
The 4C scenario will be the result with no action by the US (Senate switchboard: (202) 224 3121) because this November in Cancun, the rest of the the world will respond to that inaction.
Without the legislative changes needed to move to a clean economy we will continue grinding by, scraping the bottom of the barrel of the dirty one. This “business as usual” will tip earth’s climate beyond pullback, to one that will change the ecosystem we need, to survive, for the next 100,000 years.
That this true catastrophe for the entire human race is not front and center on our minds and our media is clear evidence that we have not evolved sufficiently to survive a slow-moving catastrophe. That is dependent on an understanding of how science underpins our civilization, an understanding of scientific cause and effect, education in understanding empirical data, and an intellectual ability and respect for scholarship.
That ability appears to be beyond enough of us, that as a race we are powerless to stop the worst (and this time, preventable) disaster to happen in millions of years. The last time the earth was as extinction-causing warm as where we are headed by century’s end was 55 million years ago during the Eocene.
In great part the stupefying was due to obvious work by dis-informers from the one industrial sector, fossil energy, that stands to lose big-time if we moved to a clean-energy-powered economy.
Few these days would still buy the same kind of disinformation campaign from the tobacco industry, yet for fifty years that industry prevented action that killed due to cigarette smoking. The fossil energy industry is far more rich and powerful. Three of the top six Fortune 500 companies are oil companies. The fossil fuel industry funds the campaign, and Senate Republicans, in order to remain our only energy source. Their successful well-financed campaign has succeeded in putting the human race to sleep.
If you understand the danger, now is one time you should call a Senator (202) 224 3121.
This month’s climate bill is our last chance. We evolved to see and respond to dangers that barrel down on us at speed. Half the human race has an IQ below 100. Don’t let that fact wipe us all out.
Susan Kraemer @Twitter
Image: British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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