Time To Save the World Now

If you watched cable news at all this weekend, you probably heard a lot about Donald Trump's bad week and how it was a turning point in the presidential campaign.

But you probably didn't hear anything about another big turning point, one that demonstrates how little time we really have left to stop climate change.

Last week, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography announced that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has stayed above 400 parts per million throughout the entire year up to this point.

We've crossed the 400 parts per million (or PPM) threshold before -- sometimes for weeks at a time, sometimes for months -- but the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere usually dips at the beginning of autumn, something that just hasn't happened this year.

As a result, scientists now think that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will stay above 400 parts per million permanently.

That's right -- permanently, as in FOREVER, at least in human terms.

This is, to paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden, a big "effing" deal.

The last time there was this much carbon in the atmosphere, human beings didn't even exist, at least not in our current form. And just for some perspective, 400 parts per million is already about 50 parts per million more than what most scientists consider "safe" levels of CO2 concentration.

So yeah, things don't look good at all for Planet Earth.

Couple this with vanishing Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, and the fact that 2016 has already been the hottest year on record, and things look even worse.

As if it wasn't already obvious before, it should be now: we are rapidly running out of time to stop climate change.

We're already in the danger zone, and every single day we keep pumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere just pushes us closer towards total climate devastation.

The situation may even be worse than most people realize.

For example, James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, now argues that the 2 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial levels threshold - that most international institutions say is the baseline of how much warming we can take - is "nonsense" and "a prescription for disaster"

Hansen now argues that we need to lower the limit of "acceptable" warming by a whole degree to 1 degree Celsius -- a number we're already eight-tenths of the way to reaching globally, and that we passed years ago in the Arctic.

So that's the situation we're in. It's very obviously a dire one.

Which raises, the question -- what do we do about it?

With global climate change rapidly reaching the point of massive worldwide destruction of the environment that sustains our lives, how do we stop it in its tracks and maybe, just maybe, reverse some of the damage we've already done?

Well, first we keep the carbon in the ground by ending all subsidies and imposing a worldwide carbon tax on the production, emission, and use of all greenhouse gasses.

Then we do what we should have done decades of years ago -- we leave fossil fuels behind once and for all.

This is more possible now than at any time in our history. As the Department of Energy recently concluded, the cost of the five leading clean energy technologies has fallen between 40 and 94 percent since 2008 alone.

As dark and gloomy as the situation is, we have an opportunity here to create a much better future that is very well within our grasp.

Let's get to work before it's too late.


PowerToThePeople 5 years 51 weeks ago

Considering the positive feedback loops which are self-perpetuating by definition, meaning that it's getting progressively warmer on its own now, why does anyone think there's anything that can be done to stop climate change?

c-gull's picture
c-gull 5 years 51 weeks ago

Plant trees and vote third party anyway. If we cannot kick out the poor excuse for a congress we have at present we are doomed.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 51 weeks ago

The way stuff works it will take decades to make any change whatsoever...shame!

My local bureaucracy tells me I'm not sick enough or poor enough to receive any assistance

I have a serious compression fracture of the lumbar spine since 1968, I'm white and have no money

What chance any of our bought and paid for shill, fascist politicos have an ear for this serious question of saving the world from our own folly???

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 51 weeks ago

I noticed that every time Thom talks about climate change there is almost no interest here. I think more and more we are all realizing that this is probably just natural. After spending trillions and seeing no change at all it in carbon reduction maybe it's something we can't control.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 51 weeks ago

Kend: You're just like my foxmerized 80 year old mother. She thinks everything is a just matter of opinion. Take my advice and go to wikipedia, carbon dioxide in earth's atomsphere. Scroll down and look at the carbon dioxide variations graph. That's not a matter of opinion, it's science!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 51 weeks ago

kend -- Several hundred people have contributed to this blog since 2007. Based on the coments I have read, I would be surprised if more than 2 or 3 would say global warming is just natural. I know why you say "climate change", but I do not understand why anyone else repeats the words of the fossil fuel economic royalists.

Jussmartenuf's picture
Jussmartenuf 5 years 51 weeks ago

When i was a boy of 6 there were 140 million people in the United States and the Japsnese had just bombed Pearl Harbor.

Today there are 320 million and growing, each burning fossil fuels each day, whether through a drive to work, using electricity, cooking or simply exhaling. I do not expect that to change. I fear for the well being of my descendants. Every economic model is based on more growth, everything produced is a natural resource depleted. Multiply this by 15 world wide and it is a catastrophe ongoing.

So i do not wish to hang black crepe and i know my message is not one of optimism, but when we have politicians that are so pandering they deny reality and we have a large segment of our population that agree with them the total ignorance is numbing.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jessmartenuf Create a new model and make the old one obsolete as Bucky Fuller said .

We could reduce the economy tomorrow ! ever growing of the worlds economy in a never ending upward spiral has always been a fallacy .It can't happen on a finite planet .We have used more resources in the last 40 years than 40 000 years and we are not slowing down .This is progress towards our own demise .

So we need solutions fast .Change our profit every man for themselves Power and Possessions economy as in the more things you own the more power you have .Power over and ownership of stuff,land ,people you get the gist .Create an economy that has a purpose of creating sustainable wealth .Move to a Use and Access economy where people do not have to own the individual items but can share them .We have so much stuff sitting idle for 95% of the time .We are taught in the west to have our own copy of everything so people are getting into debt buying stuff they hardly use while 2/3 of the planet owns very little .Moving to this Use and Cooporating economy has massive advantages creating and sharing the wealth giving people hope and a future .

The western nations have to say first look we are changing our model before the the rest will change as poorer people naturally aspire to what they see on western television shows .

People are happier when they can use things without having to own them .There is no need for everyone to own a lawnmower ,hoover or a washing machine or a car for that matter but it helps people have a happier life if they do get access to them .Saves them some time and time is money as some say .So we could have four families sharing a hoover or washing machine making the cost of the item 75% less expensive . Sharing the stuff of life has to be the new model not owning the stuff of life .This is what all evolving races finally achieve .That the resources of the planet naturally belong to all the worlds people .

This has wonderful implications for the ecology as well less stuff to landfill and products being made to a very high standard as there being used more .

Read the book Tomorrow's God for a better understanding .The chapter throwing out he money changers again !

Legend 5 years 51 weeks ago

The problem is worldwide over population.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 5 years 51 weeks ago

Actually, climate change is referred to quite a bit on The Weather Channel. The next episode of "23.5 Degrees" is about Exxon's knowledge of climate change and their efforts to hide it. No doubt, all our leaders know the truth, but not enough of them are willing to rock the boat. These die hards will put career ahead of responsibility.

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 5 years 51 weeks ago

Assuming that a Congress full of Democrats and a Democratic President might manage to save the day(s) for humanity... ...is this really the time to insist on fair and fraud-free elections?

Maybe the election fraud experience Democrats gained in the primaries will really pay off in the general.

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 5 years 51 weeks ago

(Particularly recommended for voters in "swing" and maybe "non-swing" states)

Don't feel you know Ajamu Baraka well enough?...

...livestreaming (check your local listings).

Perhaps you could tell five friends, and they can each tell five friends, and so on...


So this is a reminder that we need your help for tonight's Vice Presidential debates, by again taking it to the “people’s airwaves”, social media. Try as they might, the Democrats, Republicans, and the sham Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) can't keep us out of tonight's Vice Presidential Debate because they can’t (yet) control the free speech airwaves of social media and the Internet!

Democracy Now! (the premier source of non-corporately filtered news, information and analysis) is going to insert Ajamu Baraka directly into the debate! He’ll be able to take on Kaine and Pence in real-time!


Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 51 weeks ago

Legend - the notion of overpopulation is an effort to focus our fears elsewhere

Off subject --- depending how you view

The real issue is fractional reserve banking along with its evil tentacles and hidden intent

An amazing american made this statement a long time ago -

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -- Thomas Jefferson

What do you see?

How much of our collective power of reason has been taken over by, what is only best described as propaganda?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 51 weeks ago

Very sadly it is blatantly obvious that, apart from alll their other bigotry, republicans are racist

Hard to believe they represent about 50% of americans

Does that tell a story?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 51 weeks ago

Sorry! The comment above is inappropriate and relevant only on this page (looks like links are broken)

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