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Making a difference

  • Thu, Jul 26, 2012 - 03:04am


    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

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    Making a difference

Hello John,

I agree with your cynicism that small lifestyle changes would somehow prevent problematic warming. The fact of the matter is that we already have problematic warming and it has just begun. If we could turn everything off tomorrow we have already programmed in at least another 0.8C of warming (basically doubling what we’ve already done). Realistically, even if we all agree and pull out the stops, we might stand a snowball in hell’s chance of only increasing by 2 C by 2100. Based on our collective actions (or inactions?) we are currently on a trajectory for >4 C of warming; potentially 6 C, a whole different planet. If anyone wants some interesting climatic change reading material, check out Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. It is a readable accounting of what scientific papers (circa 2007) indicated would be likely to happen if we warmed by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 degrees celsius. Sort of a road map of where we are possibly headed. As I recall, there is also a documentary video version of this but I think the book is better material upon which to ponder.

The point of the tangent here being that although all those small lifestyle changes (not sure which groups or actions you are referring to) may not make much of a difference to the climate that you or I will experience, they could be critically important to determing just how high we are pushing the temperature for future generations.

That said, the actions and lifestyle changes that you, DTM and others have already undertaken humble me. I am long on knowledge and short on action. I’ve been working at getting my career, family, living arrangements, etc turned onto a more sustainable path for a few years now but I’ve got a long way to go yet before I can claim to be walking my talk, so to speak. Thanks to all of the posters here for continued inspiration!