Monday, March 10, 2008

are we cooked?

The more research and data we accumulate on climate change, the more dire our predicament seems. Now modeling done by scientists from the US, Canada, and Germany indicate that deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions alone won't do it - we need to get to near zero if we don't want to be boiled in our own planetary juices.

In an otherwise unrelated story about China's military might, the Pentagon estimates China's consumption of oil is expected to rise by as much as 60% by 2015. That's just one factoid among many found all over the press and the internet based on the business as usual model that shows emissions going in the wrong direction.

That's not to say they are accurate, though. But the time is getting short. We're going to need societal, economic, and technological breakthroughs in reasonably short order to minimize the worst effects of climate change on humans, other animals, and plants, on land and at sea. I frankly can't imagine what the combination will be that could help us make the transition. That doesn't mean we're cooked - a person in 1908 would have had difficulty imagining the technological, political, and societal changes from 1908 to 1933 even, let alone 1958 or 2008.

But I'm worried.


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