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Sustainability, Spirit & Community

Four Quick Scenarios for Our Global Warming Influenced Climate Future: A Four Minute Summary

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Submitted by Lawrence on

Scenario One: If global warming is at the most optimistic of projections of only a 2 degree Celsius increase by 2100 (4 plus degrees Fahrenheit,) and, --- we have no climate system surprises or go over unexpected climate tipping points, many climate disasters considerably worse than Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy in New York will occur and many will suffer, but we should be able to manage it for the future of humanity.

Scenario Two: If global warming is at a currently more likely projection of only a 3 degree Celsius increase by 2100 (6 plus degrees Fahrenheit,) and, --- we have no climate system surprises or go over unexpected climate tipping points, horrendous climate catastrophes will occur and hundreds of millions will suffer and, --- humanity will be most unpleasantly changed for centuries.

Scenario Three: If global warming is at the less optimistic of projections of only a 4 degree Celsius increase by 2100 (8 plus degrees Fahrenheit,) and, --- we do have climate system surprises or go over unexpected climate tipping points, billions will suffer and during that period humanity may be on the road to extinction or near extinction.

Scenario Four: If global warming is at the least optimistic of projections of a 6 degree Celsius increase by 2100 (12 plus degrees Fahrenheit,) and, --- we have lots of climate system surprises or go over unexpected climate tipping points, billions may die and humanity as we know it today and in its current numbers --- has little hope. 

Keep in mind that in each of the four scenarios above the negative climate effects start slow, but increase in scale, severity and frequency not just linearly, but often exponentially and, --- as temperature increases occur earlier and higher over the time period until 2100. In Scenario One, life on Earth might not look so bad for many individuals in wealthy western countries until 2040-2050 and still may even be manageable in 2070-2090.

In Scenario Four, most of humanity could already be in severe stress and massive catastrophe by 2040-2060. We just do not know yet which of the four scenarios are unfolding other than the most optimistic scenario of no more than a 2 degrees Celsius (4 plus degrees Fahrenheit,) increase is looking less and less like it is even still possible.

In spite of the many still unknown tipping points and other uncertainties of climate destabilization we can look to history for likely hints about what our human behavior is likely to be and that will determine which scenario is most likely to happen. Human history has resoundingly demonstrated that people, businesses and nations do not normally make the kind of major and costly changes needed until "the pain of going forward is less than the pain of where they are."

In spite of all political rhetoric to the contrary, this implies that until the climate destabilization crisis becomes far, far worse than hurricane Sandy was, (which will cost the U.S. in excess of 130 billion dollars,) it is unlikely that much if any effective national or international climate re-stabilization actions will be taken and unfortunately, by that time, because of new climate tipping points being crossed, it could easily be too late to avert extinction-level or near extinction level climate destabilization. Unless there is a real miracle, it is not likely that the world's politicians will do anything substantive until we start having regular climate destabilization mega-disasters each costing somewhere in the range of 1/2 to one trillion dollars each.

This likely ongoing failure to act collectively with enforceable international laws also implies that we need to prepare for and adapt to the projected worsening climate conditions now --- while still doing what we can to also adapt to and help mitigate (lessen,) the effects of the rapidly escalating climate destabilization in order to insure as many of us as possible survive.

"We need to understand that the stability of our global climate is the essential and conditioning "game board" upon which all life and all of life's games and goals are played. If this master conditioning game board of life is destabilized, it will destabilize all of our other sub-game boards (our current personal and collective economic, social and political games.) Not many people really get that almost everything that they are currently doing within their personal, business and political lives will become increasingly destabilized as their local climate destabilizes and their local support systems collapse as the global climate and master "game board" becomes ever more destabilized.

We need to begin thinking about global warming caused climate destabilization no differently than a slow moving asteroid on an extinction event level collision course with Earth. When you finally really get this and let it in fully, you will begin to understand the seriousness of why we must prepare ourselves now and act now to try to lessen the escalating climate destabilization that is already upon us." Lawrence Wollersheim

For an honest, effective and complete plan to help mitigate and resolve global warming and its consequent climate destabilization, click here.


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