Collapsing ice sheets. Violent megastorms. Giant waves hurling huge boulders. This is what our kids and grandchildren have to look forward to, if leading climate scientists are right.
In a 52-page study, published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, James Hansen (the world’s top climate scientist) and 18 co-authors paint a bleak future for Planet Earth. Even the generally accepted 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much for the planet to bear, according to the scientists.
The study is chock full of numbers and charts and graphs and footnotes, representing years of investigation into old and new climate science evidence. But for all its complexity, it’s concluding statement, on page 41 (just before the 11 pages of citations) is very simple—and very clear:
We conclude that the message our climate science delivers to society, policymakers, and the public alike is this: we have a global emergency. Fossil fuel CO2 emissions should be reduced as rapidly as practical.
Will our policymakers and public heed Hansen’s warnings? Or will we, in Hansen’s words, “hand young people and future generations a climate system that is practically out of their control?”