Monday, May 13, 2013

CO2 levels highest in human history

It is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is now present in our atmosphere at a level not seen for three million years.  That's long before humans arose on the face of the world.  Logical extrapolation suggests that this will cause a rise in both climate and sea level.

 " “It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the [CO2] monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading."

I'll say.   Every time we turn the ignition on our cars, flip on a light switch, or board a plane for Vegas, we spew CO2 into the air.  I don't exempt myself from this process.  I'm with everyone else on this "inevitable march to disaster" as one researcher called it in the article.  Or as another scientist in the article was quoted as saying, "It takes a long time to melt ice, but we're doing it.  It's scary."

That's right, we're driving our world into conditions not seen since prehistoric times.  At this point, however, billions of people will be affected.  Worst of all, there might not even be time to turn it around, leaving us instead to attempt to mitigate the worst-case scenario as best as we can.  We've proven to be slow to do even at that as it would undoubtedly cause economic disruption.  It would also require (gasp!) community sacrifice.

I'm not pinning this entirely on America's shoulders, either.  Sure, we're up there in terms of CO2 emissions, but China's got us beat.  Like the good ol' US of A, the Chinese have refused to adopt any national standards targeting its overall carbon footprint.  As its cities sprawl further and further outward, as its vegetation is increasingly chopped down to clear room for the sprawl, the warmer the temperatures in China become.  Plus, being the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide, what happens to China eventually affects the rest of the world as well.

Despite all the evidence, there are still detractors who still vehemently deny any form of man-made climate change, despite the fact that the initial uptick on CO2 emissions corresponds with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  A politician quoted in the article states that “The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rather undramatic.”  A logical fallacy that climate scientists astutely point out as being akin to saying "you only have a bit of cobra venom in your veins."

"...the time to do something was yesterday," is another great quote.  But don't worry.  I hear from the Right that Jesus will save us.

Actually, I think He is more likely to say, "it's your mess, you fix it or live in it."

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