Time for a revolution.
Last week we gave you a short documentary to watch on the situation we are forced to confront/tackle/resolve – and stop evading!-: climate change, its implications in our daily living and the certainty of a dark end for us if we keep on being so naïf, and do not act to make us worth surviving as a species.
There is something I share with Bill McKibben, and it is that I, as well –must admit-, sometimes feel that by writing these newsletters for you, and pretending that you read them, I could generate change… but it seems we need even more to shift the course of our history and change the world. We need awareness, yes… but it must be taken into action, and massively.
McKibben’s organization, 350.org, took forward the biggest social/environmental manifestation in the world in the fall of 2009. So many people… in the entire world, showed that, independently from their profession, age, religion, sex, color and any given illusory division you want to put, climate change affects as all.
It still creates a buzz on me to turn on the news on the TV and see that they show me a robbery in an Ohio gas station in the U.S., while in our country we have indigenous people dying because of the clearing of the forests on behalf of our extractive system. I do not understand why the news show me stupid talk-shows issues, while people in the world scream CHANGE.
The name of McKibben’s organization is referred to the max top of 350 part per million of CO2 dissolved in the atmosphere which the planet can resist, a number which, if surpassed, would make our climate climb up 2 more °C, producing an irreversible increase in the climate schizophrenia with the consequent proliferation of even more natural disasters and who knows how we will end up… McKibben’s excellent work is summarized in the next concepts.
We have 3 numbers to comprehend where we are standing.
2 degrees. Being this the only piece of data which everyone accepts (within the decision maker’s world) that, if surpassed, our climate would start having a greater proliferation of extreme cases, which in general provide the exact ingredients to unchain more natural disasters and their consequent massive environmental refugees migrations and, of course, the economic losses implied.
The next number represents the tons of CO2 dissolved into the atmosphere which we need to do not pass those 2 degrees. That number is 565 gig tons of CO2. In other words, the CO2 dissolved in the atmosphere absorbs heat, and that heat rises up the temperature. With 565 gig tons dissolved in the atmosphere (which scientists calculated we would emit in the next 15 years) we are taking the risk of surpassing those 2 degrees increase.
The last number, the one that leaves you thinking by acknowledging the truth and depth of relating these 3 numbers –where we are headed- is the amount of tons of CO2 that still exist in our Earth’s reserves. We still have (well, I say, companies have) 2765 gig tons of CO2 in our reserves. This means that we have at our disposal –at the system’s disposal and at the disposal of those who govern us, no matter if they are governments or companies– 5 TIMES THE QUANTITY NEEDED TO DRIVE THE CLIMATE MAD. And it is there where we are busted my friends…
Now, all our governments are disrespecting us in our face. Because those countries which signed up the “Copenhagen Agreement 2009” have already admitted this situation and have committed to do something about it.
“To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change” – Article N°1.
Now, according to the newsletter I uploaded 2 weeks ago, the UNO says that we have already passed this 2 degrees limit, and that we have already reached 400 part per million of CO2 dissolved in the atmosphere (kicking our climate in the next years to a 2,4°C increase). And if we did not get past this point, we are close: you can check in this website the following on CO2 emissions in the world. Anyways, we have past those 350 ppm. McKibben considered as safe…
And then? What are we going to do? When I saw the documentary with my mates we were stunned, and thought of ways of acting on behalf of the Earth. It occurred to us to show the documentary at our University, and committed ourselves in talking about these issues with our loved ones. In all, spreading the word is what’s more important. Because ignorance is this struggle’s worst enemy.
Van Jones’ words (an environmental lawyer, author and civil rights activist) by the end of the documentary stayed in my mind for a while as an echo…
“That is the epic struggle of this century, and we are going to meet it. If we don’t, we are not going to have a XXIIth century. Every time a generation stands up, it stands up based on idealism. It stands up based on moral courage and that is what is happening now.”
Moral courage is what we need, to recognize that this affects us all. Moreover, to recognize that the solution has to come from all of us as well. Changing our consumption habits, asking our politicians for the change we expect, and making us be heard at a wide scale.
I remember the days in which we go out with our bikes with the Critical Mass throughout our beloved flatlands here in La Pampa, Argentina… And I feel good about it, while imagining all the people pedaling for sustainability, making it obvious that we can change our lifestyles.
I said it once… I do not know how we are going to resolve all of this. But for now, I can only try to inform everyone on these issues.
Big hug, and until next week,