I have a confession to make. Climate change scares the living daylights out of me. The notion, validated by a growing majority of scientists, meriting increasingly shrill warnings by a growing number of scientists, that human greenhouse gas emissions are tilting the world into a very violent and rapid state of change, is horrifying. The climate nightmare our fossil fuel emissions are brewing up for us, I fear, is far more terrible than we realize. Than even the most prescient scientists imagine.
These forces, once they really get going, will be far, far too large for us to interrupt. For nature gone haywire is a horrible and heartless enemy who cares not a wit for human suffering. For us to inflict such a terrible fate upon ourselves is the very definition of insanity.
Now a former UN official, Yvo de Boer, is foreshadowing the upcoming 2013 IPCC report by stating plainly:
That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone. I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.
I should hope so.
This past year has been a horror show as human caused climate change rushed in from the remote future to stare us directly in the face. The time-table for Arctic sea ice melt has moved forward by 100 years as massive new record lows were reached. Reports of methane clathrate destabilization cropped up both in the Arctic and off the US Eastern Seaboard. Reports of permafrost melt contributing enough carbon to double the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere by the end of this century abound. Combined permafrost and clathrate stores are enough to at least triple global carbon dioxide concentrations. The Northern Hemisphere suffered its worst fire season on record. The US is still suffering its worst drought in 55 years. It felt the wrath of a thunderstorm derecho as powerful as a hurricane, its hottest year on record, and a freak Superstorm Sandy that wiped out the Northeast coast line.
Freak events have become the new normal. And climate scientists are now so terrified they have, increasingly, dropped any pretense and are linking individual weather events directly to the crazy, violent, and dangerous new climate we’ve created.
‘Scare the wits out of everyone?’ I should think so. For my part, I think if you’re not scared then you’re either mindless, senseless, or in denial.
Message to world: reduce carbon emissions yesterday. Please. Don’t wait for IPCC 2013. Please. For your sake. For all our sakes.