Time is running short…

1.5C: we have only 1 year, 7 months.

2C: we have only 18 years, 11 months.

Albert Bartlett, physicist and teacher, once said the greatest shortcoming of us humans is our inability to understand the exponential function (think population growth, CO2 emissions growth, etc. etc).

Yes, and…

It is also our inability to see that our actions now have long term consequences down the road. For some reason, unless we can see immediate results, we don’t quite believe that this leads to that.

In 1 year and 7 months, we will have emitted enough CO2 to “lock in” 1.5C of warming. Global temperatures won’t actually *be* 1.5C warmer in 1 year and 7 months, but at that point, there will be nothing we can do to stop it.

Remember that at 1.5C global warming, we are also locking in great suffering for millions of people on this planet, most of whom are poor. So as we sit here and do nothing to stop 1.5C of global warming, we are committing moral atrocities upon the most vulnerable of the world, most of whom had absolutely nothing to do with the situation in which we now find ourselves. I am equally to blame, and have no idea what to do about it, other than to keep posting and protesting and being vegetarian and buying local eggs and wishing, wishing, wishing things were different.

(For more information about the carbon budget, see my previous post about the pie chart.)