What Is Happening In The World?1. Humans are burning all the fossil fuels on earth. Atmostpheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing at a faster and faster rate. Current CO2 concentrations are above 400 parts per million. Many climate scientists say that 350 parts per million is the maximum safe value for the human species. We passed that mark in 1990.
2. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, which traps extra heat within Earth's atmosphere. Scientists are observing marked increase in global air and ocean temperatures.
3. Climate is complicated and hard to understand. Even 25 yeras ago, weather forcasting computers couldn't predict the weather reliably more than two or three days in advance. Forcasting climate is trying to pick out parterns in weather and forcast them into the future over decades and centuries. Some climates are heating up more (like the polar regions) while others are having more violent storms. Some places might be more wet, more dry, or show little change.
4. Governments and corporations are stalling in taking significant action. Our mainstream value systems promote economic growth as the primary measure of success at the expense of other measures (e.g. climate stability). From a government and business perspective, climate action is bad for the economy. Unless they are pressed in a different direction by a majority of citizens, action will not happen.
5. Climate activists have been pushing harder on government, but not enough to make big changes.
Where Can I Learn More?
Klein, Naomi (2014). This Changes Everything.
McKibben, Bill (2010). Eaarth.
McKibben, Bill (1986). The End of Nature.
Pearce, Fred (2007). With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change.
Further In-Depth ReadingBond, Patrick (2012). Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below.
Brand, Ulrich, et al (2009). Contours of Climate Justice: Ideas for Shaping New Climate and Energy Politics. (Click to download the PDF.)
CorpWatch (1999). Greenhouse Gangsters vs Climate Justice. (Click to download the PDF.)
Parenti, Christian (2011). Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.