The Future Is

I just read a summary of projections, none of them good, for our future climate.

There are entire books out there on what a ten degree temperature F rise will do to the world, so when I read this reiteration of what I already knew, I shouldn’t have felt shock, should I? Unfortunately, I felt shock. In fact, the changes already look real.

The temperatures here in northern Colorado are running ten degrees F above average. Maybe a tad more. We had the windows open today. There is almost no snow on the mountains. The big reservoirs are still dropping. Perhaps that’s why this story hit me.

It should hit people, shouldn’t it? These lines are pretty dire

Some people will likely survive, but such a level of global warming will pose severe difficulties for industrial society adapting. Heatwaves will buckle our railway lines causing transport chaos. Increasing intensity of cyclones and storm surges will swamp our coasts and coastal infrastructure. Extreme weather, high temperatures, changes in precipitation will reduce our crop yields and raise food security alarms. As transport and freight is disrupted, our social fabric will start to tear apart at the seams.

The Executive summary of the report concludes:

Thus, given that uncertainty remains about the full nature and scale of impacts, there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible. A 4°C world is likely to be one in which communities, cities and countries would experience severe disruptions, damage, and dislocation, with many of these risks spread unequally. It is likely that the poor will suffer most and the global community could become more fractured, and unequal than today. The projected 4°C warming simply must not be allowed to occur–the heat must be turned down. Only early, cooperative, international actions can make that happen.

The report puts forward that a 4°C world is not inevitable and that with sustained policy action warming can still be held below 2°C.

Sustained policy action. Like that’s going to happen.



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