How long have we got? It’s later than I thought…

Went to a presentation I really really should not have gone to today.

Before it kicked off I was saying to a new acquaintance/ally/adversary etc  “Oh yeah, I’ve been coming to see this guy for years.  It’s never really new. He just plots out how much carbon dioxide we’ve been emitting – not how much we promised, how much we guesttimated but the real numbers. Then he makes some really optimistic assumptions about how sensitive the climate is to us treating it like a sewer. Then he says what that means for how much we’d have to reduce, by when, to have any chance of a vaguely habitable planet.  The line of emissions reductions has been getting more and more vertical every time.”

And so it came to pass today, with bells on. 4 degrees by 2050 or so?! wtf?!

Basically, it’s “game over, man, game over.”

It left me – unusually – pensive.  Perhaps because my normal coping mechanism – to say out loud that I am bloody glad I don’t have any kids – was not available to me, seeing as I was sat next to someone I really like who, um, has two kids.


About dwighttowers

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One Response to How long have we got? It’s later than I thought…

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    “…I am bloody glad I don’t have any kids…”

    Me too. But lots of nieces/nephews who are having kids.

    Couple weeks back I had a similar reaction after reading this column:

    When that happens, the sulfur bacteria that normally live in the silt (because oxygen is poison to them) come out of hiding and begin to multiply. Eventually they rise all the way to the surface over the whole ocean, killing all the oxygen-breathing life. The ocean also starts emitting enormous amounts of lethal hydrogen sulfide gas that destroy the ozone layer and directly poison land-dwelling species. This has happened many times in the Earth’s history.
    Don’t let it worry you. We’ll all be safely dead long before it could happen again: the earliest possible date for a mass extinction, assuming that the theory is right and that we continue down our present track with emissions, would be well into the next century.
    The only problem is that things like this tend to become inevitable long before they actually happen. Tick, tock. V

    Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. His column appears each week in Vue Weekly.

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