Our world in chaos
The devastating effects of climate change are happening faster than anticipated
Now that the dust has settled from the rah-rah, back-patting sessions of the Paris Climate Summit, the world’s citizens face the daily news (often even in the mainstream media now) that things are shifting quickly—much faster than previously expected. The predicament formerly known as “global warming” or “climate change” is now called “abrupt climate disruption” or “climate chaos.”
Many conservative projections show drastic changes occurring by 2100; however, if things are happening faster than expected, then those changes could happen much sooner. Scientists crowned 2015 as the hottest year on record, and now 2016 is likely to take that crown.
We’re already seeing big changes: oceans acidifying, coral reefs dying, Arctic ice melting. We have unprecedented fires and floods, climate refugees, extreme weather events—and this is just the beginning.
Not long ago, I came across a report by James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who concluded again that anthropogenic (human-caused) activity is raising the global average temperature faster than extrapolations and even faster than during previous global extinctions. This is not good news for any species, including ours.
In Chico, I helped start a “Daring to Discuss” conversation group that meets on the first Thursday of the month at the Chico Peace and Justice Center, providing participants the opportunity to converse about the deep-reaching implications and diverse feelings that come with our changing climate and changing times.
Guy McPherson, renowned scientist and University of Arizona professor emeritus, predicts dire consequences for our planet in the near-term, even if actions are taken, which doesn’t look likely. McPherson has given talks in Chico over the past 18 months (see “Bad-news bearer,” Greenways, Nov. 13, 2014), and he is returning to town for two speaking engagements.
If you’re concerned about abrupt climate disruption and want to connect and learn and share more about our changing planetary climate, please come see McPherson at the Pageant Theatre on May 3 at 7 p.m. and the Chico Peace and Justice Center on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. (donations accepted).