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Environment

Point of No Return for Climate Change

Point of No Return for Climate Change
Christina Comben

The subject of climate change has been on the agenda for several decades. Yet, despite efforts from international governments, the world has been unable to stop the rise in greenhouse gases.

We are in fact, according to the World Meteorological Organization, now at a critical level which we will be unable to reduce for “many generations”.

El Niño

Largely to blame for the spike in greenhouse gases is the El Niño phenomenon. Lack of rain and drought conditions in usually tropical regions caused less absorption of CO2 than usual, due to a decrease in vegetational growth.

Forest fires also emit heavily toxic gases, and the dry conditions were responsible for many of these in 2015 and 2016.

These weather conditions served to increase levels of CO2 in our atmosphere to way above average. CO2 levels are now above 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in approximately four million years.

The Human Impact

Despite the disappearance of El Niño, the human impact on toxic gas emission is still very real and present.WMO Secretary General, Petteri Taalas, says that we are in:

“A new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Human behaviors, such as pollution from cars, planes and factories, as well as actions with greater impact, such as deforestation, industrial manufacturing, and burning carbon fuels all need to be reduced.

The Outlook

The WMO remains firm in its stance that nations must maintain their focus strongly on cutting back their CO2 emissions.Without tackling CO2 emissions, in fact, we cannot begin to tackle climate change.

Last year, some 200 nations signed the Paris climate agreement to reduce CO2 emissions, and will meet again this November in Morocco to decide on the next steps forward.

Comment Below
  • DaleCutler

    Contrary to what right-wing Christian climate change deniers in the US appear to believe, it seems that the Bible – and in particular, the Carpenter from Galilee – speaks to climate change. It also seems unlikely that it is going to get better. The “distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves” of Luke 21:25 describes climate change well, with rising sea levels and weather extremes, although he may be referring to tsunamis, or both. Some megacryometeors may be a result of climate change, so it would not be a surprise if they became more frequent (cf. Revelation 16:21). Bloody red algae blooming seas, fire, floods and famines are also mentioned – earthquakes, too. Since big bang cosmology’s telling us that space and time(!) had a beginning fits so nicely with Genesis 1:1*, I’m inclined to believe more of the Book, as well, and it says we live in a dying world.

    Given the brokenness of people (all of us) and the corruption in and ineptitude of governments – first and third world, it doesn’t seem likely that climate change is fixable, even if it were all anthropogenic. And any global financial, geopolitical or geophysical disaster could effectively scrap any political and unenforceable agreements.

    But, counterintuitively, perhaps, the most frequent mandate in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” (or one of its several variations, e.g., “Fret not” and “Be anxious for nothing”). That would include not being anxious about climate change and terrorism. Father is in control, like it or not. It would be better to like it. Also counterintuitive, perhaps: he is a loving – and lovable – Father.

    *Incidentally (or not), the sequence of ‘days’ in Genesis 1 is correct, too. (www.reasons.org/blogs/take-two/let-there-be-light)

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