This brief stay of execution allows only one last moment in time for us humans to amend our dystopian conduct and begin to behave in some ways other than destructively. We have so poisoned the global atmosphere that human life expectancy is now diminished by over two years worldwide, and dropping, while in northern India it is closer to six years. The fires, droughts, floods, and storms are all greater in intensity and frequency than was forecast just a few years ago. We are encountering enormous costs just for the damage done, with trillions more to be spent on futile coastal water defenses, the movement of households and businesses inland, and other doomed adaptive measures, some of which are now baked into the climate cake.

We face an existential, fossil fuel crisis, which we are apparently not going to address: “The world is on track to produce far more coal, oil and gas than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.;” according to the UN Environment Programme Report. National projections now show that countries are planning on 17% more coal (That’s right, coal, the filthiest of all fossil fuels.) 10% more oil and 5% more gas production in 2030 than is consistent with NDC implementation (which itself is not enough to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C). We know that 350ppm is the maximum tolerable CO2 atmospheric concentration in terms of climate adversity. That is the maximum, not the desirable level. It is the atmospheric speed limit. This July, we crashed right through 419ppm and the trend line is massively increasing.

No one knows just what the planet’s temperature will be at any time in the future because that revolves around what future humans do. If, however, we continue extant energy consumption trends, there is no scenario by which we avoid quantum increases beyond the current cataclysmic outcomes. This year so far, 23 countries have set new temperature records. June was the hottest year on record only to be eclipsed by July’s. We still do not know just when the feedback loops in the atmospheric cycle will become non-linear, triggering run-away conditions, but they are all careering toward that condition right now. One thing is for sure: The climate disruptions we are now experiencing are small potatoes compared to the near future without major interventions. If not now, when?

Ron Zimmerman,



(1) comment


so keep making babies, driviing a duramax, drill baby drill, frack baby frack! Humans have no control over the earths temperature. Human Caused Climate Change (formerly global warming) is a hoax.

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