Climate Change – the unavoidable reality

09.01.2013 - Scott Wilkie

Climate Change – the unavoidable reality

Australia has recently experienced it’s hottest weather since records began, with the Weather Bureau forced to ‘add new colours’ to its temperature mapping system to accommodate thousands of hectares subject to temperatures exceeding 50 deg C. Major Bushfires raged out of control for days, so large that they were clearly visible from space. Electricity suppliers were forced to resort to use of massive reserve capacity as demand escalated. Water consumption peaked radically. No doubt most wildlife took to shade, or was uprooted by encroaching fire. Many creatures obviously perished. Thankfully, there appeared to be no loss of human life..

”The current heatwave – in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent – is unprecedented in our records,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s manager of climate monitoring and prediction, David Jones. Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.”

“As the warming trend increased over coming years and decades, record-breaking heat would become more common, Dr Jones said.”

”We know that global climate doesn’t respond monotonically – it does go up and down with natural variation. That’s why some years are hotter than others because of a range of factors. But we are getting many more hot records than we’re getting cold records. That’s not an issue that is explained away by natural variation.”

Australia is no stranger to extremes of weather such as this one, & so most are well prepared for the occasional day or even week of temperatures above 40, but what is becoming apparent is that these extremes are becoming more frequent & increasingly severe. The statistics paint the picture – we are well on track to recording our hottest year ever, and are guaranteed the hottest decade on record. & this is with a mere 1 degree increase in average temperature. That ‘1 degree’ doesn’t translate into 43 instead of 42 degrees, it translates into far more extreme weather variations which frequently claim Human life.

Obviously, Australia, nor any other nation on Earth is alone in this. The US has just recorded its hottest year on record. Russia has experience some of the coldest conditions seen there. World wide, storm cells are becoming increasingly severe & life threatening.

Climate Change & Global Warming are well and truly with us. The only ‘deniers’ that remain are those with a vested financial interest in the continuation of a Social System based on consumption, & those that have fallen for the lie that ‘we have nothing to be worried about’ .

“According to a peer-reviewed study by the Australian-based Global Carbon Project, global average temperatures are on a trajectory to rise a further four to six degrees by the end of this century, with that rise felt most strongly over land areas. It would be enough to tip Tuesday’s 40-plus temperatures over much of mainland Australia close to 50 degrees in some parts.”

The alarming thing is that as each year passes, the predictions are brought forward due to newly available statistics. Some ‘radical’ Climatologists (well-recognised Doctors in the field) are predicting a 6 degree change by as soon as 2030, through accelerated processes involving the melting of large areas of permafrost & the subsequent release of millions of tones of methane into the atmosphere – ‘Runaway Greenhouse’. To paint the picture here, a 6 degree increase in global average temp translates into a lifeless ocean, a 100 fold increase in the rate of species extinction & truly dramatic weather extremes. Certainly, Mankind will not be immune from the brunt of these changes, with some learned people going as far as predicting the extinction of mankind along with all upper mammals.

While any attempt to accurately predict the future with something as complex as Climate Change is foolish, all the indications are that we are plunging head first into an era unprecedented in Human History. Even the last Ice Age will have nothing on this. And it’s quite possible that even if we were to stop all Human-based emissions tomorrow, it’s still to late.

And All this ignores what Humanity is likely to do to itself in the competition for water & arable land, both becoming an increasingly scarce commodity.

So what can we do to mitigate the inevitable? At the Macro level, Nations are implementing ‘Carbon Trading’ schemes in an attempt to use economics to force major polluters into reducing their emissions. With good intention, no doubt, but seemingly a futile exercise with the current ease of international trade with emerging nations who are doing little. Unfortunately for Humanity, our Corporations have little interest in Human well-being while people continue to provide a market. The Political solutions are there, but seemingly absolute disaster will have to be upon us before we vote ‘in the correct direction’.

Many, at the personal level, are opting out of Consumerism. By economic force, or pure ethical will, this is undoubtedly the path to survival of the species in the long term. By adopting variations on the ‘Communal’ lifestyle, consumption is radically reduced. Sharing what we would have previously owned ‘one of each’ makes a lot of sense & requires nothing more than a bit of co-operation with others, something that seems anathemic to the current mantra of ‘consume, consume, consume’.

So plan ahead. Start living a fuller life through sharing & companionship. Embrace Humanist Ideals. Raise the issue with those blindsided by a conservative, untruthful media. If enough follow this guideline, we may just avert complete & utter disaster.

Categories: Ecology and Environment, Oceania, Opinions
Tags: ,

Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to our daily news service.


Documentary: UBI, our right to live

Film: The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons

2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence

Milagro Sala

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Archives

Except where otherwise note, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.