by Will Greene
Superb blogger David Roberts of Grist recently gave a TEDx Talk that expertly lays out the climate threat we all face, using only the latest peer-reviewed science (read a new report led by ASU scientist Nancy Grimm showing climate change is changing ecosystems and affecting species at a more rapid rate than previously expected). If this video doesn’t motivate you to care about the issue, I’m not sure what will. I recommend watching all the way through, it is worth the 15 minutes.
Roberts details the short and long-term ramifications of our current emissions path. While most of the climate focus remains on how carbon emissions will affect our lives in the 21st century, more insidious is how our actions today will impact humans inhabiting the planet one hundred or two hundred years from now. As distant and detached as that amount of time may make us feel, there will indeed be people going about their lives in 2300. And they will certainly not appreciate “Venus-like conditions” leaving any shot at a global economy resembling anything close to ours in the 21st century, impossible.
Consider the example we are setting for future generations. Despite the alarm bell being rung, and rung loudly, by the scientific community (and most recently the economic development-focused World Bank, and accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers) we are knowingly choosing to exploit fossil energy sources full steam ahead, with perhaps the apex of our stupidity coming in the presidential debates where the contenders fell over themselves declaring their love for fossil fuels, and the greatest threat to humanity was not mentioned.