Our Carbon Footprints
Our Carbon Footprints
I find that I spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating climate change and where humanity may be headed. I also spend a lot of time reading and listening to what the experts have to say about our future and our planet's future. I'm very sorry to say, it isn't good news.
Where we will go from here but up? And by that I mean our carbon dioxide emissions. Before the start of the Industrial Revolution the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere measured around 260 parts per million (ppm), meaning that for every million molecules in the atmosphere about 260 of those were carbon dioxide. Today, our cumulative carbon dioxide levels have reached over 405 ppm, and most of the rise over the last 250 years has occurred just within the last few decades. Scientists have known for over a century that burning fossil fuels would cause global warming. They understood that the heat provided by the sun, would be trapped in the atmosphere, blanketed by this layer of carbon dioxide. They understood that this heat blanket could potentially wipe out civilizations across the globe with something close to
And really, that's the gist of it. It is pretty simple, the solutions are not so simple. If we are to have any chance of keeping the average global temperature from rising more than another 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is clear that we need to stop spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; or if we can't manage to do that, we had better find a way to take it out as fast, or faster than we are presently putting it in. Our biggest problem, which makes our problem a real problem, is that in today's world many societies run on fossil fuels. We are addicted to fossil fuels. We don't want to give up on our fossil fuels, and frankly, I don't blame us. They have given us comforts that I am sure our ancestors couldn't have imagined. Fossil fuels have got us here so fast, and without them, well, it seems that many feel humanity would grind to a halt. But really, I believe, or I hope to believe, that we are so much smarter than that. We need to realize that if we do not stop emitting the emissions, humanity as we know it, will most certainly grind to a halt. And it is an end that won't be pretty, because that proverbial train is going to take a long time to get to its grinding halt, and there are going to be a lot of dead and dying laying on the tracks in its wake, whose only crime was that they had the misfortune of getting in the way of the train.
Right now, in North America, for the most part, we've got it pretty darn good. However, if we want to keep it good, we're going to have to make some serious adjustments on how we conduct ourselves on this planet, that is, if we wish to continue to afford the luxuries that we have provided for ourselves.
The following material has been added (and more will be added) to help you make an informed decision about how you would like to move forward, today, tomorrow, and for life, with respect to the size of your carbon footprint.
And, when it comes to our carbon footprints, size matters.
Renewable is a video and story series about visionaries, creators, community leaders and above all else, Edmontonians, each with a unique vision of a sustainable future in the heart of Canada’s fossil fuel industry.
"One of the big questions in the climate change debate:
Are humans any smarter than frogs in a pot?
If you put a frog in a pot and slowly turn up the heat, it won't jump out.
Instead, it will enjoy the nice warm bath until it is cooked to death.
We humans seem to be doing pretty much the same the same thing. "
The Climate Reality Project suggests that that "Earth is facing a climate crisis, driven by fossil fuels." Climate Reality's mission is to convey the urgency needed if we are to overcome our climate crisis.
According to NASA, "97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."