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Letter: Fouling our own nest

We continue to foul our own nest. I did not see in any newspaper the recent American Geophysical Union position paper on global warming. The headline states: “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.” The first paragraph clearly shapes the problem: “Human activities are changing Earth’s climate. At the global level, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases have increased sharply since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel burning dominates this increase. Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 140 years. Because natural processes cannot quickly remove some of these gases (notably carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, our past, present and future emissions will influence the climate system for millennia.”

Most people have absolutely no idea what this could mean. Get ready for hotter summers, more droughts, more torrential downpours and, worst of all, rising sea levels. We are truly a species that fouls its own nest. And we are kind of stupid, too. We waste time ignoring what world-wide scientists have, repeatedly, told us about how bad our climate will become, ignore what we could do to slow the warming (and save our great grandchildren from a very hot fate), and continue to allow emissions of greenhouse gases (of which carbon dioxide is one) instead of insisting that our politicians take steps to curtail such emissions.



Legacy Comments8

Decades ago I read a commentary on the place of human beings in the global biosphere. The author noted that we are as a species (no individual fingers being pointed) as stupid as yeasts who will continue to reproduce and foul their environment until the waste products, alcohol in the case of yeasts, become so concentrated as to kill of the entire population. Not a complimentary comparison. Maybe we should resolve to be smarter than yeast!

With so many right-wing politicians being paid by the fossil fuel producers, it is possible that there humans will turn out to be as stupid as yeast !!

Hey, Waltie, what, if anything, do you know about molten Thorium nuclear reactors?

gracie...I'm a geologist, not a nuclear physicist.

I think this quote from the movie The Matrix spells it out better than yeast. Agent Smith - "... Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus." I know it's only fiction but this hits close to home

Walter, Perhaps a pandemic like in the middle ages would help? (mort= 1/3 of Europe's pop). Great idea's in Dan brown's latest book. Pesky humans.

If the politicians keep listening to the deniosphere and ignoring all the scientists, meteorological, and climatological organizations there may be a 'tipping point' of CO2 and world temperature increases that would significantly reduce the human race. The US has experienced more severe weather this past decade than anytime before (on record), but deniers ignore that.

That may unfortunately be right. Climate scientist William Ruddiman has linked the Little Ice Age (roughly 1550-1850) to those plague years. The de-population of Europe resulted in a substantial re-forestation of the continent, and consequent drop in atmospheric CO2. He writes about it in his book, "Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum, How Humans Took Control of Climate" (2005).

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