The genie is out of the bottle

[…] “By far the most serious example of pollution in the world today is climate change, caused by human-produced greenhouse gases. While other pollution may compromise the viability of local ecosystems, climate change threatens the entire global ecosystem. The main greenhouse gases and their primary sources are: one, carbon dioxide, released from fossil fuel combustion; two, methane, released by farm animals and by the natural gas industry (natural gas is basically methane); and three, nitrous oxide, released by agriculture and fossil fuel combustion.”

[…] Since the 1990s the United Nations has sought to rally the world’s nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After 21 years of international meetings and failed negotiations, 196 nations finally agreed in December 2015 on a collective goal of limiting temperature increase above pre-industrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius—which is 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit—with the ideal being 1.5 degrees or less. But actual emissions have so far not been capped. Some of the difficulty in reaching consensus on action comes from the fact that most historic emissions have come from the world’s wealthy and politically powerful nations, which continue burning fossil fuels at high rates, while many poorer nations, which have less historic responsibility, are rapidly increasing their fossil fuel consumption in order to industrialize. Some of the very poorest nations are also the ones most vulnerable to climate change. All of this makes it hard to agree who should reduce consumption and how fast.”

[…] The stakes could hardly be higher. Climate change threatens not just our own species, but millions of others as well. If we don’t solve this single pollution problem, the fate not just of civilization, but of most of the planet’s species may hang in the balance.”

Richard Heinberg,

Think Resilience Online Course

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