Climate Disruption Talk January 2019
Climate Needs Allies: Us
It’s a sickening feeling to realize that children are in danger and we stand by silently.
It brings to my mind a question I've asked myself:
Had you been there, would you have allowed the Nazis to drag your neighbors away?
Had you been there, would you have run away from a violent crime you witnessed?
We are at such a "there" crossroads now.
136 Fahrenheit 58 Celsius
These air temperatures will not support human life. They will occur if the earth’s atmospheric temperature increases by 4 degrees Celsius.
Temperature increase is already reality.
Since 1950, according to NASA, the earth’s temperature rose an alarming 0.90 degrees Celsius.
Climate Thought Leaders
On January 18, 2019, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology premiered the first of six info-seminars for the public focusing on a climate disruption threat to the human race. International engineers, IT experts, lawyers, economists, and consultants to the United States military are in agreement that this threat is imminent. They are also in agreement that there is hope. However, the entire issue is being ignored by American news outlets. This head-in-the-sand position baffles these experts and me.
World Consensus On The Catastrophe
The speaker, Dr. Donald A. Brown, affirmed that the world scientific community is in total agreement that the atmospheric and ocean temperatures are rising and continue to rise. Furthermore, Dr. Brown’s experience serving the United Nations and teaching in 39 countries leads him to assert that the developed countries know that there will be global biological, political, economic destabilization if countries do not reduce certain emissions.
“The British are coming,” shouted Paul Revere and Sybil Ludington to colonial farmers in New England. The farmers did not ignore the warning.
More recently, world scientists and leaders wrestle with, and warn about, devastating climate change. Unlike the colonial farmers, however, neither the American legislatures nor the press are giving these warnings their due.
Climate crisis has been a concern for decades. In 1992 on behalf of the United States, President George H. Bush ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC.) This treaty, which 194 countries signed, requires reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels or lower. At that time, no scientists questioned the climate harm caused by industrialization and its attendant release of the greenhouse gases, or GHGs.
Strangely, although world leaders bought the concepts, they did not feel appropriate urgency. Now, with the 2018 Special Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identifying more specific goals and unpredictable danger factors, the United States, the country causing the most harm to all humanity, is not responding appropriately.
Humans pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the halocarbons group, have differing periods for dissipating.
Political Economist Dr. Haradhan Kumar Mohajan has grave concerns about methane since it has more global warming potential than does carbon dioxide. Of the four greenhouse gas categories, methane may be the shortest-lived, requiring only a few decades to decay into carbon dioxide (which also is not a benign gas in the atmosphere.) However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has pegged methane's warming strength at 86 times that of carbon dioxide. As a Scientific American article described, "...methane warms the planet on steroids."
Of course, humans need to change their activity so as not to replenish the dangerous methane. Unfortunately, the greenhouse gas with which we may be most familiar is frightening in a different way.
The Bugger For Millennia: Carbon Dioxide
In contrast with methane, carbon dioxide lasts for centuries.
If the world completely stopped carbon dioxide emissions tomorrow [January 2019], CO2 would remain in the atmosphere beyond this century. Once carbon dioxide concentrations are reduced and stabilized, the positive effects would not immediately appear. On the contrary, they would come very slowly. The earth’s air temperature would not stabilize for many more centuries. The sea level rise which has begun would take centuries to millennia to stop.
Carbon dioxide is a devastating gas that human activity releases into the atmosphere.
Scary "Positive Feedbacks" - Nothing Positive About Them
Climatologists have identified 17 “positive feedbacks” – global warming effects that can cause further rapid climate change. There are many unknowns about their triggers. In addition, relationships among them have not been determined. It is unknown which events may be correlational or causal. In light of all the unknowns, climatologists urge us to err on the side of extreme caution.
An analogy to ignoring these feedback events during world temperature rise would be to imagine the results of trying slip unnoticed past a dog-filled kennel by taking a barking dog with you.
Delays Make Fixing The Climate Harder
The magnitude of GHG reduction needed is enormous. Every day that humans don’t do something to help, the amount of harmful emissions in the atmosphere gets larger. The problem will be that much harder to tackle.
Politics, Religion, And Climate Change
Not only did Dr. Brown have a comprehensive picture of the physical and military aspects of the crisis, he expounded in detail about political structures which impede solving the problem. He shared his perspective on world and United States politics.
The United States has agreed, by signing the 1992 international treaty, that there is no justification for inaction on global warming due to:
(1) a country's self-interest ,or
(2) for alleged scientific uncertainty.
Yet, the United States ignores both its agreement and these concepts.
In Christian faith, Jesus cited "The Golden Rule;" do unto others as you would have them do unto you. To be perfectly clear, this means "be nice to each other." All religions have an equivalent code for behavior.
In American politics, some Evangelical Christians make a point of revealing their religion as dictating their political choices. As best as I have interpreted the Christian Bible, EVangelical Christians have an affirmative duty to be stewards of their God's world and to be Good Samaritans to all people in the world.
Developed countries have legal, moral and practical mandates to rapidly and aggressively reduce their GHG emissions. Whether one is evangelical Christian, practices another faith, or practices none, citizens of the united States must roar at the political bodies to act now. The strong must act to protect the weak. When doing this, everyone wins.
Call Your State And Federal Legislators This Week!
Do your Google or other favorite search to contact your state and national legislators. Demand immediate, measurable changes.
The kids at the playground are counting on you.
I'm proud that I:
© 2019 Maren Elizabeth Morgan