A simple look at the upward path of global greenhouse emissions indicates we will continue to squeeze the trigger on the gun we have put to our own head.
– Eugene Linden
The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilization
In the United States, 255 million cars and trucks, along with millions of planes, boats, trains, lawn mowers, snow machines and other combustion engines, burn fuel 24/7. They exhaust enormous amounts of pollution every second without end.
Also in the U.S., millions upon millions of homes, office buildings, schools and factories use vast amounts of energy to operate the engines of commerce for the 321 million people in the country. These all exhaust billions of tons of carbon pollution.
|Worldwide, smokestacks exhaust billions of tons of waste.
The entire planet carries 7.3 billion humans also burning vast amounts of energy to create horrific impact on the ecology of the planet. It all adds up to a colossal load on the Natural World that cannot be mitigated.
At some point, something must give, and it will! Systems that cannot withstand the assault eventually collapse.
Mother Nature deforms to fit humanity’s onslaught
Earth’s average temperature rose 1.4° Fahrenheit over the past century. Scientists project a rise of 2° F to 11° F within this century.
Small changes in the average temperature of the planet translate to large and dangerous shifts in climate and weather that also transform our oceans by way of acidification from carbon infusing the water. Oceans warm while becoming more acidic, which translates into unlivable habitat for marine creatures. Extinction follows.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the Earth’s atmosphere carried 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide. In March 2013, that figure rose to more than 400 ppm for the first time in millions of years. Since the Industrial Revolution, oil, gas and coal became energy sources that overwhelm the Natural World’s ability to mitigate their impact.
The evidence grows stronger with each passing year. Rising global temperatures caused Hurricane Katrina, Sandy and Haiyan in the Philippines. While tornadoes have been part of the American Midwest for years, they now touch down with more frequency and ferocity, it seems, one more sign of increasing extreme weather conditions.
Many regions, including California, face extreme drought, while extremes express themselves all over the planet. Glaciers melt at lightning speed in Asia, Greenland and Alaska.
So what’s causing our massive environmental warming trend?
Essentially, human beings burn up the planet
World Meteorological Organization Secretary General Michel Jarraud said:
Ocean temperatures are rising fast, and extreme weather events, forecast by climate scientists, showed climate change was inevitable for the coming centuries. There is no standstill in global warming. The year 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth hottest year since 1850 when recording of annual figures began. The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths. Levels of these greenhouse gases are at a record, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable.
If we humans continue our 24/7-carbon footprint attack on Mother Nature, she will respond. For example: if the oceans become overly acidic, the krill that feeds endless numbers of creatures in our oceans may go extinct. If they die, the entire food chain dies.
We humans set a course beyond our understanding. We tinker with the mechanism of climate and ecology beyond our capacity. Along with condemning many of our fellow travelers, we could become our own executioner as well.