7000 days

When people talk about climate change it is normally referred to a problem of the future…

“Our children will experience…”   

“It is up to us to make a better world for our grandchildren…”   

“By 2030 we can expect…”

By 2030 we can expect an average increase of temperatures of 1-2 degrees.

How many days until the future arrives?  

7049.

Between now and 1 January 2030 we have just over 7000 days to put in place measures to ensure the survival of our civilisation.   

7000 days to save civilisation?  

There is no doubt without curbing emissions we witness increased warming.  

As events in Russia and Pakistan have demonstrated, even one degree of warming can have a series impact.  

Various projections looking at a low-high emissions future clearly show my own home state of Victoria will experience at least 1-2 additional degree of warming by 2030 [1]:      

7000 days

This “future” is a little more than 7000 days away.  

It has been stated that two degrees warming is perhaps the safest rise in temperature we would want to experience:

“… even a “moderate” warming of 2°C stands a strong chance of provoking drought and storm responses that could challenge civilized society, leading potentially to the conflict and suffering that go with failed states and mass migrations. Global warming of 2°C would leave the Earth warmer than it has been in millions of years, a disruption of climate conditions that have been stable for longer than the history of human agriculture. Given the drought that already afflicts Australia, the crumbling of the sea ice in the Arctic, and the increasing storm damage after only 0.8°C of warming so far, a target of 2°C seems almost cavalier.”

We cannot pass this threshold.  

7000 days to shift our reliance from fossil fuels to renewable sources.  

7000 days living in hope the Australian government will place a price on carbon.  

7000 days to plan our gradual retreat from the coasts as sea levels rise or abandon those parts of the state “unfit” for human habituation due to increased fire risk.  

7000 days to try and curb emissions and keep temperature rises to within two degrees.  

We have 7000 days.  

Beyond four degrees: 21,000 days to develop a civilisational back up plan  

Based on current levels of emissions, within sixty years things may become catastrophic.

“…A four-degree C overall increase means a world where temperatures will be two degrees warmer in some places, 12 degrees and more in others, making them uninhabitable.
It is a world with a one- to two-metre sea level rise by 2100, leaving hundreds of millions homeless. This will head to 12 metres in the coming centuries as the Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets melt, according to papers presented at the conference in Oxford.
Four degrees of warming would be hotter than any time in the last 30 million years, and it could happen as soon as 2060 to 2070.”  

 

Again, the same predictions for my home state of Victoria, but this time for 2070:      

21,000 days

We have 21,659 days.

Today, the average life span for an Australian citizen is 81 years.  

That’s 29,565 days.  

A child born today will most likely grow up in a world seriously impacted by climate change.  

My daughter turned two this year.  

21,000 days.  

But who is counting:

“Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.” ~ John Donne

 

[1] Sourced Climatechangeinaustralia.com “…Projections are given relative to the period 1980-1999 (referred to as the 1990 baseline for convenience). The projections give an estimate of the average climate around 2030, 2050 and 2070, taking into account consistency among climate models. Individual years will show variation from this average. The 50th percentile (the mid-point of the spread of model results) provides a best estimate result. The 10th and 90th percentiles (lowest 10% and highest 10% of the spread of model results) provide a range of uncertainty. Emissions scenarios are from the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios. Low emissions is the B1 scenario, medium is A1B and high is A1FI.”

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2 thoughts on “7000 days

  1. adelady says:

    Oh no Robert. 4 or 6 degrees is true hell and high water disaster material.

    And I just checked the site for the pretty piccies for SA. Oh joy, oh bliss. Red is not my favourite colour.

    And surely Robert you know that predicting Catastrophic Economic Meltdown is much more believable than any amount of climate disruption projections. What people think they will do when carbon fuels get more expensive anyway is a complete mystery to me. (And why does that not cause the fear and trembling of a CEM? anyone?)

  2. Robert says:

    Great post. Given the changes we’re already seeing, it hardly matters in a practical sense whether we are headed for two or four or six degrees this century. Any of the above will be far more destructive and costly than strong corrective action.

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