The Point Of No Return
Climate change is one of the most complex issues facing us today. It involves many dimensions – science, economics, society, politics and moral and ethical questions
– and is a global problem, felt on local scales, that will be around for decades and centuries to come. Carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that has
driven recent global warming, lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and the planet (especially the oceans) takes a while to respond to warming. So even if
we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, global warming and climate change will continue to affect future generations. In this way, humanity is “committed”
to some level of climate change.
How much climate change? That will be determined by how our emissions continue and also exactly how our climate system responds to those emissions. Despite increasing
awareness of climate change, our emissions of greenhouse gases continue on a relentless rise. In 2013, the daily level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed
400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The last time levels were that high was about three to five million years ago, during the Pliocene era.
What Is The Point Of No Return?
Quite simply, the point of no return occurs when the Earth reaches a critical point where the heating of the planet will go in a run away
syndrome. This will happen when the sea ice recedes to a point where the oceans now absorb so much heat from the sun that Earth can not
dissipate it fast enough. Normally the sea ice and Arctic ice reflect heat back into space, each year there is less sea ice so more heat
in absorbed into the oceans. And as the Earth continues to warm, the melting permafrost releases millions of tons of methane gas in to
the atmosphere. This is another major green house gas. When the Earth reaches a critical point, these two things will continue to happen
even if every man made green house gas released is stopped (The Point Of No Return). Many sincerely believe we are just a few years from
this point. Some believe we are already past the point of no return.
So what is the worst case scenario? If all the ice melts in both Arctics, the ocean will rise 230 feet, displacing 37% of the worlds populations. All coastal cities
will be destroyed, cities like New York and Hong Kong. Most of Florida will be under water. Over 2 BILLION people will be forced to migrate in just a few short years causing
its own disaster. As some areas see massive flooding other areas will seem long term drought with occasional massive rains and incredible mud slides, flooding and destruction.
California has seen the first examples of this. As the oceans warm, mass amounts of moisture will enter the atmosphere (1st grade science) causing areas to get record snow
fall. Yes with global warming/climate change you still have seasons, but they will just be more extreme. This will cause massive crop failures and food shortages which will
result in rioting and looting all over the world. Millions of species will disappear forever. The great bearer reef, the world's largest ecosystem will die because there will
be no light to support life 200 feet under the water. The oceans will become extremely polluted with billions of tons of chemicals and garbage flowing from inland areas inundated
with rising sea water. Most sea life will be extinguished, and what little is left will quickly be over fished do to extreme food shortages.
These predictions are not by the few but by over 93% of the world's scientific community which agrees that climate change is man made. Even Ronald Reagan, in a speech, warned
about the dangers of global warming.
If 93% of the scientists are wrong, the worse case scenario is that we become energy independent, that our air and environment become much cleaner, and that millions of jobs
are created for green energy.
The US has always been the largest polluter of green house gasses. Although in 2014 China passed the US in total, China has five times the population and produces nearly 10
times more products than the US. On a per capita biases, the US produces nearly 5 times more pollution/green house gasses per person than China does.
So why are so many US leaders in denial? It's simple, many politicians are bought and paid for by the oil industry, coal industries and their cronies.
What Will Become Of Us?
The question begs answering: can we sit and do nothing while global warming reaches a crisis point of no return, when no remedies exist,
no hope of survival for humans and animals?