There seems to be an increasing consensus among climate scientist that even if we were to cease all production of man made greenhouse gases it could take as much as tens of thousands to a hundred thousand years to return to a more normal state of no man made climate. We have triggered nature to quickly release its own huge natural stores of greenhouse gases from the oceans, ice, and tundras which have been accumulating large stores of decaying vegetation matter and lying dormant for tens or hundreds of thousands of years or much longer. (See Global Warming – A real threat to all Life on Earth) As the earth’s waters, ice masses, land masses, and atmosphere continue to rise in temperature by only a few degrees these huge reservoirs of greenhouse gasses of carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as methane gas (40 times more potent than CO2) stored in rotting frozen tundras increasingly become released. So what are we to do? Give up because there is nothing we can do?
What Can be Done?
We can still make a difference if we act soon. Our influence on Climate Change is still significant. If we wait longer the natural processes of Global Warming will become increasingly more dominant and our ability to influence overall Climate Change becomes less significant. We can slow down the progression of Global Warming by greatly reducing our contribution to greenhouse gasses soon. So we can slow down the rate of increasing Global Warming by quickly backing off our contribution. The sooner and faster we back off on our carbon and methane emissions the more slowly Global Warming will progress. This means that we can reduce the accelerating impacts of Climate Change on ourselves and especially future generations. If we do not act fast enough the intensity of storms and droughts will increase in frequency and longevity.
What is Being Done?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reverse the ferocity of weather events. That will take tens of thousands of year for nature to reverse. We can only slow down the progressive severity of these weather events and perhaps the long-term peak of Climate Change far in the future if we act soon enough. Is the international community doing enough? Well, it depends on what you mean by ‘enough’. But the more we compromise greenhouse gases emissions in order to allow our economic systems to adjust to the new greenhouse standard the faster the natural Global Warming effects will dominate over our efforts to reduce our contributions. The Paris Climate Accord is an attempt to reduce greenhouse gases globally but though it is better than nothing it does not address the urgency for aggressive reductions as a matter of a global security threat. We are in a time crunch where the more protracted we are at aggressively address Global Warming the less chance we have of influencing its rate of change later. I feel this is what most people fail to understand including those who believe in Climate Change. It is like a locomotive, representing man made greenhouse gases, that is not coupled to a long string of railway cars, representing total Climate Chang, that is pushing this heavy load of railway cars on a slightly downward slope track, representing nature’s contribution to Climate Change. The longer the locomotive (man made Climate Change) pushes this train of cars (total Climate Change) the faster it proceeds (the faster is total Global Warming) and the longer it will take the railway cars to slow to a stop. The reverse is also true. The sooner the locomotive quickly disengages from pushing the railway cars the slower the cars will be traveling and the shorter distance they will eventually stop. The locomotive has been pushing harder ever since the industrial revolution and continues to do so.
What Can We Do?
So what are we to do? Educate yourselves about this then educate our friends, relatives, and especially legislators. There is a lack of political will to treat this as a national threat. It is a national security threat as menacing as a global war. We are sitting on a huge ticking time bomb. The longer we wait to take the appropriate actions the faster we lose control to make a difference. We are talking about the survival of the human race and all high lifeforms. The world will not have seen such a dramatic rise in Global Warming since the earth was full of active volcanoes more than 100 million years ago.
Can We Depend On Science to Fix the Problem?
You might ask out of desperation cannot science find ways of saving us from the disasters of Climate Change? Sure it is possible. But the trouble about man playing God on a global basis is that in the process they can cause all kinds of changes such as rapidly reversing the change and causing an ice age. Man created all the technologies that got us in trouble. They can do experiments in the lab but still, they must do experiments on a global basis with no certainty of the outcome due to the complexities of nature and the earth. And there will likely be many unintended consequences. Nature is just too complex to anticipate most factors as it is constantly changing. But you might ask isn’t nature doing experiments as it evolves and adjusted to Global Warming changes? Yes, but nature is usually much slower in its evolution taking tens of thousands of years to slowly change and evolve and thus allowing life to adapt. Nature is going to do whatever it is going to do. We cannot depend on science to save us. It is simply too risky. The safest option is to work with nature, not work around it with science. We must reduce our production of greenhouse gases quickly. We must put the breaks on greenhouse gas emissions as soon and quickly as possible. The survival of our planet depends upon it.