It’s that hockey stick illustration again…. this planet was getting along fine before we came along and started playing hockey.
By getting along fine, I mean that from time to time – like hundred of thousand of years, and sometimes millions of years – there have been swings in the average temperature of our planet accompanied by swings in the average sea level as water was bound up in huge ice fields or not. It’s fairly easy to understand : lots of ice, cold temperatures, low sea level all go together; as does less ice, warmer temperatures and higher sea levels. Those three things are interdependent and they arise in dependence on something else, and that something else is the root cause of climate change – CO2 concentrations.
CO2 is not the only cause of climate change. But right now, it’s the important one. It’s not the only molecule which acts as a greenhouse gas. But right now, it’s the important one.
Why? BECAUSE HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN MAKING A HELLUVA LOT OF IT SINCE THE BEGINNINGS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. WE HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT’S WARMING EFFECT SINCE THE LATE 1800s, WE’VE BEEN TRACKING ITS INCREASE SINCE THEN AND WE’VE DONE DAMN ALL ABOUT STOPPING OURSELVES RUNNING OFF A CLIMATE CLIFF EDGE.
Ok, I’ll take a few deep breaths…. By the way, the air that I’m currently breathing contains 400ppm of CO2 which is 30% more CO2 than I was breathing when I was born. 30%. Nearly a third more CO2 is entering my lungs now than in 1950. That doesn’t do me much damage, if any. But it’s doing the planet’s lungs a lot of damage, at least if we want the planet to continue supporting our existence.