This is not a chat filled with many statistics. This is a dedication to the process of Science and the Scientists that alerted us of Global Warming and Climate Change armed with real and measured observation, evaluation, conclusions and outcomes that are proven real and/or predicted. This is to the many from the early 1970’s who hypothesised and published, ran tutorials, toured armed to the teeth with stats,conclusions and comfortable reasonable certainty of truth. I witnessed one of those tutorials in 1977 during my under-grad studies, from two visiting American lecturers to the TCAE in Hobart Tasmania. The message was alarming, simple and clear – Carbon Dioxide emissions were increasing exponentially and causing a rapid rise to planet temperatures with potentially catastrophic consequences the result. Most of their conclusions and truths informed 40 years ago have proved to be true now. The following discusses our place, our moment in time and our crazy, sometimes irrational, illogical and blind ride to where we are now. Read on.
Part 1 SOMEWHERE IN SPACE
1.1 BLUE DOT
” Blue Dot” Planet Earth as a really tiny round blue smudge within the enormous arena of our Solar System photographed from Voyager 1 in 1990, some SIX (6) Billion kilometres away on the other side of the Solar System. My version of a Fun and Smart guy – Carl Sagan, harassed NASA to turn the Camera around to shoot behind the Probe to take one last photo of Earth before it became invisible to the Probe Cameras and eventually they did. It was no small feat by NASA to reverse the Camera and take the photos. We are certainly a small speck in that large place called Space. “We love you far distant Earth, Our Valentine forever!“, is my interpretation of the essence of the photo.
Assuming that Aliens exist, if they peered across this distance to the pale blue dot, would they see our teeming human Billions chewing up the planets resources? Probably not. They might pick up a few Politicians speeches and Climate denier diatribes across the ether from our radio emissions, but would be quite confused as to the gobbledygook received. Greta Thunberg though? Loud, clear and simple that Planet Earth needs help.
Voyager 1 is still hurtling away across the Universe as I write. We are still getting pings from way out there, now a paltry 22 Billion kilometres away. WOW! Proper, tested and applied Science is awesome!
1.2 BLUE MARBLE
Earth in Space from near our Moon so much closer than Voyager 1. This pic taken on the December 1968 Apollo 8 Mission. Described by the astronauts as a Blue marble. Not a fuzzy Blue Dot anymore. Different shades of blue, brown, green and white present. Note how Earth appears to be not quite round in shape, almost wobbly in fact. After all we are spinning around in Space at 1,600 Klms/hr (1000 mph). Earth is pretty heavy and with all that blue bath water slopping about, we are sure to wobble a bit! (some pretty dodgy science in that last comment) I am unsure if that is photo effect or my poor eyesight, but Science already tells us that the Earth is not a perfect sphere. (credits Google image, NASA)
At 380,000 kilometres away, there is still no evidence of the Billions of everyone and everything that live on Earth. Land masses, Clouds and Oceans are visible. It appears to be pristine, yet all humans know that on ground reality is something quite different.
1.3 OUR HOUSE
Planet Earth is an Ecosystem. It is a contained environment in which life exists in many varied relationships with each other and this environment. Our Earth ecosystem can only exist by being wrapped with life providing atmosphere that keeps the warmth and air in and the cold vacuum of Space out.
Little to no atmosphere? Humans not surfing Nazare Gigantic Bombs or any other humans to switch off the Light because we would be Dead. When will death happen, this atmosphere and planet being consumed by our bloated Sun? This process will take close to four Billion years, give or take a few Million. Death is inevitable but acceptable now due its distance in the future. Before this predictable death comes a reduction in overall Planet Earth health that increases it’s severity with time.
Maybe we will adapt over the Centuries to the increasingly hostile climate. Maybe we would have already left the Planet far behind with our FTL space drives and Wormhole technologies enabling humans to scatter across Galaxies. (maybe I read too much sci-fi). Our adaptation, inventiveness and evolution can happen, given the thousands of years involved before time is up. One scenario to revise this long term Death timeline is to get smashed up by a decent asteroid anytime. So be careful out there people, wear Hard hats at all times! (Difficult working in comedy angles to this dire tale)
A second scenario to shorten our life expectancy is to damage our Planet ecosystem to the extent that it becomes hostile to life as we know it. Human activity is now affecting the Planet’s climate and not in a positive way. We are helping the Planet warm at a speed never before seen in history- recorded and not. We are squeezing climate cycles into shorter spans of time. We are plainly damaging our House and it needs major running repairs for us to be safe.
This is about human’s future in the short term (tomorrow – 10-20 yrs), medium term (20 – 50 yrs), long term (50 -100 yrs) and beyond. No big deal really! Just tomorrow, the next day and so on towards our own personal ends. Not bleak at all! Is it time to pause and listen to “Always look on the Bright Side” ? (by Monty Python from that ‘Mothers Love’ Movie – “Life of Brian”)?
Yes, it really is time to chuck this optimistic ditty on and make sure you sing along, as the Science cannot be ignored. It is plain and simple truth for any and all to see. Our frequency of climate change is compressing to shorter periods of time and causing humans more grief than what we grew up with and are now growing into.
To Deny that humans are now visibly affecting climate at our peril just does not make any sense. Global warming is the number one driver as it has been for a very long time now. There is more than enough clear irrefutable evidence already researched, published, raised at Conferences, formally presented in learning institutions, Board rooms and on the Web. We view daily ongoing impacts. It is the Science Community that have measured climate for some time, predicted and confirmed our compressed warming cycle. Proper science has and still is being applied and refined. No matter how good they claim their science to be, Climate deniers are almost as harmful as Global Warming itself. Scrutiny of their cooked up science indicates that the climate deniers are just plain wrong and that we are in big trouble.
Coming next: Part 2 Bad Old Days and Harbingers of Doom