I used to think my future grand kids
would be the ones really grappling with the effects of climate change. Now I worry about preparing my children for a life of privation and woe. I'm scared enough that I'm feeding them raw milk (despite the risks) and not making them wash their hands very often. One of the few ways I can prepare them for lack of medical care is to build their immune systems as much as possible while we have access to world class health care. Aaron is buying the kids surplus military frame packs so they can carry enough gear to walk hundreds of miles. That way they can someday head north if they need to. Do we sound a little crazy? I certainly hope we are. This is infinitely preferable to what I fear is the case.
There are two primary reasons I've gotten so scared and sad about our prospects.
1. Two degrees of global warming--the default target for emission reductions--may not be as manageable and tolerable as previously predicted. The bottom line is protecting food production, but it's looking like 2°C of change will start to disrupt agriculture on a large scale. This from RealClimate a blog by climate scientists:
We feel compelled to note that even a “moderate” warming of 2°C stands a strong chance of provoking drought and storm responses that could challenge civilized society, leading potentially to the conflict and suffering that go with failed states and mass migrations. Global warming of 2°C would leave the Earth warmer than it has been in millions of years, a disruption of climate conditions that have been stable for longer than the history of human agricultureFailed states? Mass migrations? Just imagine the food prices at that point. And how about the recessionary effect of all that on our economy (not to mention all the death and suffering).
And this from Kevin Anderson:
It is fair to say, based on many (and ongoing) discussions with climate change colleagues, that there is a widespread view that a 4°C future is incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organized, equitable, and civilized global community. A 4°C future is also beyond what many people think we can reasonably adapt to. Besides the global society, such a future will also be devastating for many if not the majority of ecosystems.
The above quote is from an article entitled "Climate change going beyond dangerous: Brutal numbers and tenuous hope" that argues while long-term emissions goals are politically and economically expedient, ultimately they will lead to global disaster. W
e need to have turned off the lights yesterday to have any hope of keeping global warming to a mere 2°C change. No more driving. No more flying. Starting now.