In the August 2012 issue of Rolling Stone magazine is one of the most alarming and terrifying articles on climate change that you will ever read. Titled “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” and written by American environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben, the article paints a bleak picture for the future of the planet as efforts to save it are hampered by politics, greed, fudged science and laziness. What is even more alarming is that McKibben’s piece reveals some brutal facts and figures that will shock even the most well-read conservationist.
One terrifying figure related to last month’s temperatures which saw wildfires sweep through Colorado. McKibben says that “June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. (It) followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”
In case you were hoping that maybe this was all part of a natural warming cycle, McKibben notes that “Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.”
It isn’t just the US that is seeing alarming figures. According to McKibben, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history!
McKibben then goes on to slam the lack of progress at this year’s Rio+20 Conference, not to mention the failure of the Copenhagen Conference several years ago, but it is when he reaches his paragraph about the ‘two degree target’ that things really get scary.
Currently, most scientists feel that the planet’s temperature could rise another two degrees before any damage is irreversible, but we’ve already increased the Earth’s temperature by 0.8 degrees which means we’re almost halfway to the target. Unfortunately, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. But that’s not even the scariest part.
Many scientists think we can add an additional 565 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere by 2050 without increasing the globes temperature by two degrees, but the oil and gas companies are still planning on using up all their reserves (not to mention receiving support from political leaders) which will add 2,795 gigatons to the atmosphere.
It really is eye-opening and heart-pounding stuff. Click below to read the whole article.