Monday, December 5, 2022

Will Steffan on What a Four Degrees Temperature Rise Looks Like in the Age of Ecological Disorder

For a trifecta of depressing posts for this Monday morning, I want to save this video here. It's Will Steffan, an American chemist who became the executive director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute, explaining back in 2018 that we only have two years to make a solid plan we all stick to 100% in order to keep the global temperature to just 2°C above pre-industrial times. Whoops! 

He explains that without a plan incorporated everywhere NOW, as we watch Ford destroys the greenbelt, we'll be on track to see a 4°C rise by the end of this century. The real shocker for me, that he does a great job of explaining, is that the difference between mean global temperatures now and the mean global temperatures during the last ice age, is just FOUR DEGREES!! People survived during the ice age, but didn't thrive and innovate until the weather became optimal. We're in this very tiny optimal place, but it won't last long. And who knows what a 4° rise will look like, but Steffan predicts it won't be survivable without air conditioning, and that might not be possible if we lose too many engineers and skilled labourers, etc. to the inhabitable conditions. That's just our bodies trying to survive. He didn't get into what will happen to the entire agricultural system. I'd hazard to guess we'll go hungry before we burn up. 

It's 50 minutes long, but the most important bit is from 30-37 minutes.


ETA: This article: Climate change isn't the main cause of a loss of biodiversity - which is another urgent issue. That can be blamed on "habitat fragmentation and loss, overhunting, over-exploitation, agricultural expansion, pollution, and industrial development." The problem comes when things like massive solar fields directly harm habitats:  

"There is at present no plan, in any country, anywhere, on a global or national scale, to address extinctions, biodiversity crash, and habitat loss. The dismal reality is that with a green build-out, we will be saving not the complex web of life on Earth but the particular way of life of one privileged domineering species that depends for its success on a nature-ravaging network of technological marvels. Only once this truth is understood can honest decisions be made about what kind of world humanity wishes to inhabit in the age of ecological disorder." 

Time for palliative care?


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is taking action may not bear fruit for centuries...most of the panic people think the climate will improve next week.
Sorry to say that's not happening!

Marie Snyder said...

I completely agree. We need an exit strategy that ensures as much kindness towards one another as possible, but I don't see evidence of that on the horizon either!

Menace the Dennis said...

With the hatred coming from the conservative (politically on the right) contingent in this world, kindness flowing in both directions will be on a long uphill road. Many on the left are not helping the situation by sounding too sanctimonious.