The Climate of Man

For a thorough and understandable account of recent climate change research, I recommend The Climate of Man, by Elizabeth Kolbert published recently in the New Yorker. Published in 3 parts: 25 April, 2 May & 9 May 2005

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Reading this has added impetus to my preparations for being more self sustaining because the changes may be coming at the same time as the energy crunch.

Last Paragraph

"Climate records also show that we are steadily drawing closer to the temperature peaks of the last interglacial, when sea levels were some fifteen feet higher than they are today. Just a few degrees more and the earth will be hotter than it has been at any time since our species evolved. Scientists have identified a number of important feedbacks in the climate system, many of which are not fully understood; in general, they tend to take small changes to the system and amplify them into much larger forces. Perhaps we are the most unpredictable feedback of all. No matter what we do at this point, global temperatures will continue to rise in the coming decades, owing to the gigatons of extra CO2 already circulating in the atmosphere. With more than six billion people on the planet, the risks of this are obvious. A disruption in monsoon patterns, a shift in ocean currents, a major drought - any one of these could easily produce streams of refugees numbering in the millions. As the effects of global warming become more and more apparent, will we react by finally fashioning a global response? Or will we retreat into ever narrower and more destructive forms of self-interest? It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing."


( categories: )