Introduction

We are in for a serious bout of climate change within several decades. How serious and how reversible depends on us, and our ability to adapt in time. Why am I so certain, when the scientists can’t agree? Easy. First of all, if the scientists who are supported by Big Business are excluded, the scientists DO agree, at least in concept. Second, most scientists focus on the temperature, which is very hard to predict accurately through models. It’s much more obvious if you examine the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere over the past century. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it was 280 ppm (parts per million). Up until ~1960 it crept upwards at 0.2 ppm per year, but after 1960 it increased at over 6 times that rate: 1.3 ppm/year. Every year the CO2 concentration goes up, and so does its rate of increase. While the models that predict temperature depend on many factors, the pattern of accumulation of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, is very clear: it is an exponentially climbing curve that spells danger ahead! Models that examine future ameliorations make common sense: the sooner we take steps to correct the problem, the easier it will be on everyone.

So why don’t we stop and take our medicine now? Mother Earth has no representative, not in our churches, many of which restrict family planning, nor in our governments that glorify the Bottom Line. Let’s explore a little, first into how I became interested in environmental issues in the first place, and then into how we might overcome current apathy and encourage others to really care about this beautiful planet, upon which we have evolved. We have a stake in the future, so why not take steps now to lessen the pain for our grandchildren?


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