Saturday, November 29, 2014

Global Warming and Future Generations

All of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1997, the year that climate change skeptics claim warming trends stopped. Quantifying the degree of global warming has required world wide data collection on land, sea, air and from orbit in space. Mere isolated local and regional observations did not give the big picture.

Some locales may seemingly benefit from climate change in the short term future. But as global warming trends strengthen, the weather patterns will continue to shift in bigger ways as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate and amplification mounts. All in all, a warmer planet will alter the lives of every plant and animal species on Earth --
including our own, the Naked Ape.

Meanwhile, fearful conservatives in all walks of life cling to their antiquated views on life and choose not to realize the dangerous situation we are all in together. Indeed, their shortcomings may ultimately prove to be disastrous by prolonging the length of time that we seriously procrastinate. The momentum of CO2 buildup continues to increase. And even if we do manage to reverse our course, global warming will continue regardless because the existing level of greenhouse gases won't magically decrease overnight. Indeed, we can only slow the rate of increase. In short, we're really screwed.

Our descendants for many generations will live on a warmer planet regardless of what we do now. How much warmer depends on what we do or don't do in the future. We will survive, but the future generations may very well hold us in great disdain for our miserable lack of foresight and for our greedy expediency.