Pollution

There's a storm coming and we are sleepwalking to disaster

By: The Leader @theleaderspeaks
Published: Monday, November 17, 2014 - 08:22 GMT Jump to Comments

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global carbon emissions must reduce 40-70% by 2050 and fall to zero by end of century or "global calamity" more than probable.

Last week one of the Information Daily Directors had a son. Mother, father and baby are doing well. A few days earlier, another Director took a day off to celebrate his daughter's first birthday. It is humbling to see the pride and burgeoning sense of responsibility with which these two people, both nearly 30 years old, have reacted to parenthood.

The Leader must question, however, how happy these two parents will feel if, in thirty years time, they find they are about to become grandparents. For it is almost certain that the world into which their first grandchild will be born will be more dangerous, harsher and less welcoming than the world that welcomed their first child.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) has made it clear that, to avoid a "global catastrophe," we must cut the output rate of carbon-fuel filth by more than a half in the next thirty years. The InfoDaily babies will hardly be 1/5 of the way through their lives if life expectancy goes on increasing in the way now being predicted. In the following 50 years, as the babies move into full and fully productive adulthood, the carbon-fuel driven killer cloud must be eradicated altogether.

What is this "global catastrophe"? What will happen if we don't start to do the right thing now? The consequences, says UNIPCC, will probably be "severe, widespread and irreversible."

Unless we radically change the behaviour of the world's population in less than one human life span we face a terrible disaster. Life - even in the developed nations - will become shorter, shockingly violent, excruciatingly painful and unrelenting in its cruelty.

Surely not! What sort of things will happen if we don't slow and hopefully stop global warming? Crop failures, the acidification of the oceans, starvation on an unimaginable scale, wars, mass migration, closed borders and millions left to "shove off and die", oh yes and a massive increase in the number and the power of lightening strikes. 

Is there a single good thing to be said in all of this? Well two things actually. Firstly, if we act now we can avoid most of the problems. Secondly, what with all the starvation, going to war, getting struck by lightening and standing guard at the borders of our scepter’d isle the obesity epidemic will disappear almost overnight.

A week ago, TIME Magazine published a list of things that worried their readers. Global warming came near the bottom of the list. On the facing page TIME published a paragraph about the climate change threat. The editors made no connection between the two pieces that faced each other across the staple fold.

It is true that TIME is just one magazine, publishing in one country. And The Leader would not have mentioned it but for the following. Five years ago, in 2009, the Information Daily parent company, Boilerhouse Media, helped design and build a website to deliver a project called "The Planetary Skin". The clients were NASA and Cisco who had teamed up to develop a "global 'nervous system' that would integrate land-, sea-, air- and space-based sensors, helping the public and private sectors make decisions to prevent and adapt to climate change.

TIME magazine hailed The Planetary Skin as "a breakthrough idea". One of the "50 Best Inventions of 2009". Like new parents, the boys and girls at Boilerhouse were proud. Now, looking back at that moment only five years ago, it looks as though the poor saps were impossibly optimistic - not to say naive.

When The Leader checked on the web for the dates and numbers of the TIME 50 best inventions listing, an advert for Berlin-Brandenburg as a world leader in electric car take-up popped up on the page. But the take up of electric cars in UK and elsewhere is poor and not much else seems to have changed in the five years since the Planetary Skin went live.

The United Kingdom has one Green Party Member of Parliament, Caroline Lucas MP. On 7 May 2015 there is an election. The major parties seem to have utterly forgotten the environment in the pre-manifesto signals they are giving out. The Information Daily is non-aligned but The Leader is inclined to start campaigning for Lucas and the Greens. It is unsupportable to think of those two InfoDaily babies, each as cute as a hand carved Yak bone button, growing up simply to die young in the world that UNIPCC foresees.

+Meteorologists are predicting that electrical storm (thunder and lightening) will more than double in intensity and frequency by 2100. Persuasive research from University of California, Berkeley based on "exquisite" datasets from US National Lightning Detector Network, suggests that every 1C rise in global temperature will lead to an increase in the frequency of lightning strikes by 12%. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change is suggesting that the temperature will rise by between 2% and 5% by the end of this century. This will lead to a massive increase not only in the number of strikes but also in the energy delivered. This will trigger vast numbers of fires and also change the chemistry of the atmosphere.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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