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Face up to Global Warming

Climate change poses a bigger threat to the world than terrorism.- David King, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Since the beginning of time, the Earth has been warmed by sunlight, which penetrates the insulating atmosphere of carbon dioxide, water vapour, ozone, methane and nitrous oxide. This atmosphere traps heat on the Earth, creating the greenhouse effect and keeping the climate stable enough to sustain life. Without it, the Earth would be too cold for living creatures.

Since the industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has increased greenhouse gas emissions. These gases trap more and more heat, which would otherwise escape into space. As a result, the planet’s temperature is rising. Unless something is done, the world will become too hot for life as we know it.

2 scenarios for 2050

The best scenario: New Year’s Eve 2049 is being celebrated around the world with great gusto-2050 was the deadline set by the UN for the global economy to switch from burning fossil fuels. And to the surprise of everyone, the target has been met-but only just in time.

The real breakthrough was the 2025 International Climate Treaty, negotiated after the final breakdown of the Kyoto Agreement. Under this treaty, the populations of countries declared uninhabitable by the UN were offered residence in Europe and North America because of their role in causing global warming- reversing decades of harsh immigration policies designed to keep environmental refugees out of rich countries.

The worst scenario:  With a global temperature of  3oC higher than at the turn of the century, the world is now a very different place. Millions have already fled from low-lying Pacific atolls because of an 80 cm rise in sea levels.

In Europe, only the biggest glaciers remain in the Alps-and the ski industry collapsed 20 years ago. The Himalayas have also lost about a third of their remaining ice cap, and a last year the Ganges ran dry. Panic swept through India and Bangladesh, and in the biggest migration in human history nearly 300 million people are currently moving towards Europe.

 

 

 

Start to live ‘lite’. Change your lifestyle to cut down on your carbon emissions. “~ Norton. M.(2006)

 

Reference

1. Adapted from 365 Ways to Change the World by Michael Norton.