Is it too late to stop climate change?
One prominent author and winner of the coveted Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism says yes. He has concluded that we have already "fallen off the climate precipice" and that we can now focus only on some "serious mitigation." He is Dahr Jamail and is featured prominently in this BSB.
Background. Exactly thirty years ago, in June of 1988, Dr. James Hansen told a Senate committee about the dangers of climate change--and what actions we must take to avoid its worst effects while we still had time. As you know, Congress did not listen then and is not listening now.
Twenty five years later, in December of 2013, Dahr Jamail wrote wrote a provocative piece entitled, "Are we falling off the climate precipice? Scientists consider extinction." It begins with these two paragraphs (which are discussed in the attached video):
I grew up planning for my future, wondering which college I would attend, what to study, and later on, where to work, which articles to write, what my next book might be, how to pay a mortgage, and which mountaineering trip I might like to take next.
Now, I wonder about the future of our planet. During a recent visit with my 8-year-old niece and 10- and 12-year-old nephews, I stopped myself from asking them what they wanted to do when they grew up, or any of the future-oriented questions I used to ask myself. I did so because the reality of their generation may be that questions like where they will work could be replaced by: Where will they get their fresh water? What food will be available? And what parts of their country and the rest of the world will still be habitable?
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Last week, Stuart Scott (of upfsi.org) published a new, 11-minute video (provided below), of his recent interview with Dahr Jamail on this topic. I share that video with you now as another perspective on how a highly-regarded journalist comes to grips with the uncertainties and challenges associated with climate change.
In this short video, Jamail explains how we humans have failed in our lame "efforts" to stop climate change or "anthropogenic climate disruption," as he calls it. Dahr has concluded that, since nothing we can do will stop climate change, we're just going to learn to live with it.
Eleven minutes re climate change worth watching
Now that you've seen the video, I recommend that you take the time to carefully read Jamail's entire 2013 piece in order to understand the depth and breadth of his research on this crucial topic. You may also want to read his 2015 piece on the same topic: Mourning Our Planet: Climate Scientists Share Their Grieving Process.
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It is clear from the above video that Jamail believes that we are clearly beyond the climate change tipping point and that the life of every human on Earth will be negatively affected because of it. Here is what he said at the end of the above video:
"We are into unknown territory now and I feel that it is impossible at this point to change what is happening. Best case scenario might be some serious mitigation, but even on that front, there's nothing to indicate that the type of globally coordinated, government mandated response that would really be necessary for that--there's really very little to indicate that is happening."
The Bottom Line. What exactly does all of this mean? To me, it means several things:
By the year 2100, the Earth's temperature is likely to greatly exceed the IPCC targeted maximum of two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline. And we'll probably cross that "IPCC maximum" before 2030.
We will never see atmospheric CO2 parts per million below 400 again. Already over 410, it turns out that the 350 ppm safe level target was more about hoping than anything else.
Because of abrupt "anthropogenic climate disruption" we are seeing now, many aspects of our lives will get a lot worse before they, hopefully, start getting better.
I agree with Scott and Jamail's conclusions in the video--that we have no chance of having capable and effective political leadership when it comes to fighting climate change as long as we have an out-of-control, environmentally insensitive, global economy based on never-ending growth.
Finally, despite all of the above, we must never give up hope as we continue to do all that we can to foster a global human society that survives and thrives in harmony with nature--indefinitely.
In closing, here are two of my recent BSBs featuring credible scientists on the topic of climate change and what it means to the future of humanity. Dr. Peter Wadhams, in the first one, offers a possible remedy whereas Dr. McPherson in the second one, has no optimism whatsoever.
"Our Only Chance for Survival," says top scientist (6-16-18)
One scientist predicts imminent collapse (6-21-18)
What about "prepping?" If you're the type of person who is inclined to do that sort of thing, then now might be a good time to think about starting. FYI, my family hasn't started prepping, but if and when we do, this Sept. 2017 NY Times article might come in handy.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
PS: As long as I can envision a viable pathway for humanity going forward, I will not give up hope. I welcome your feedback and/or your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for Opportunities to Speak. Since 2016, my research, writing and speaking has been focused on the sustainability of our ecosystem and our future as a species. With a primary emphasis on food choices, I call it the "most important topic in the history of humanity."
After all, what could possibly be more important to humans than the survival of our species?
Latest/future talks: Earlier this year, I spoke at a VegFest in Ft. Myers, Florida, at the vsh.org in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, and at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Upcoming talks are being scheduled at the NYC PlantPure Pod in October and in South Haven, Michigan in November.
Later this year, my co-author, Dr. Kerry Graff, and I may be speaking at a Chinese Nutrition Association event in Nanjing, China. For more info, Visit our speaking page.
To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at email@example.com
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