Suddenly This Summer

By Evolution Shift Archives
Cover image for  article: Suddenly This Summer

Suddenly this summer, all the predictions of the consequence of anthropomorphic emissions and the existential threat that would cause are now our present reality. The future predictions of climate scientists is now our current reality. The summer of 2023 is the hottest summer on record in the U.S. and much of Europe. June was the hottest June on Earth since the measurements started. The hottest day on record was July 3. That record was broken on July 4. That record was broken on July 6. The year 2023 is on pace to beat 2016, and 2020, as the hottest year since homo sapiens have been on the planet.

(Note: There are more hyperlinks in this column than usual, but please find the time to click on them. Thank you!)

One of the problems we face as humans is that we still have the "fight or flight" gene in us from prehistoric times. That has meant that over the last 50 years, we as a species have largely not risen to a threat that has never happened before. Global warming has been a long-term threat for decades, but our "fight or flight" trigger wasn't tripped because it was something in the future.

How about now, during the heat stroke summer of 2023?

Every single night the U.S. network newscasts are filled with "record temperatures," "heat domes," "1,000 year floods," "extreme weather events" and "horrible air quality due to Canadian forest fires." These are newscasts similar to newscasts in all the dystopian Hollywood movies of the last 30 years.

It is happening ... now!

All of the top ten hottest years since homo sapiens have been on Earth have been in this century. With these facts it is stunningly stupid that the person who is the current GOP front-runner continues to say, "Climate change is a hoax". Here is a column on what has happened to all the climate change deniers that I wrote last week.

In recent years, a growing group of people have started to say that humanity should not be so apocalyptic about the climate crisis. That it scares people into non-functional catatonia or at the least, depression.

Give me a break!

It is well known that millions of humans die every year as a result of the climate crisis. Since we are living through the hottest time since homo sapiens have been on the planet, I will use a heat analogy. There is a one-alarm fire blazing away, but since we don't want to depress anyone about it, we will let it become a four-alarm fire until we get concerned. What, are we supposed to wait until that number becomes 10 million dead annually? How barbaric!

The answer is to change the language around the climate crisis. Instead of using the idiotic phrase "save the planet," we need to say, "save ourselves from ourselves." The planet does not need saving. The planet will be around for a few billion years regardless of what we do. "Saving the planet" does sound daunting and overwhelming. Instead, if we move to "save ourselves from ourselves," that says we created the problem, so we can find the solutions. Here is a TEDx talk I did, during the pandemic, from a home studio that addresses this change of language

What this brings to mind is a clip from the HBO drama series The Newsroom of some ten years ago. Please watch it. Ten years ago, this clip might have been thought of as unrealistic. Today it is much harder to dismiss.

One problem is that people actually think that we are making progress with all the talk about sustainability, all the wind farms and solar arrays being built and the growth of EVs. Yes, incrementally, we are. Every year since 1970, we have lived in deficit with Earth. 1970 was the first year when humanity consumed more of Earth's resources than could be replenished. In 2022 we consumed 1.7 Earths of resources! The ideal date for Earth Overshoot Day would be 12/31 of any year. In 2023 the estimate is that the date will be August 2, which means that every day after that, we will be taking more from the Earth than can be replenished. How is that something we shouldn't be alarmed about? If you want to see how you stack up with your own personal Earth Overshoot Day, go here.

The only year since 1970 when Earth Overshoot Day moved back was 2020. Why? Because for the first time in history, several billion people were sequestered at home due to the pandemic. Billions of us simultaneously did something different. That is going to be part of the "solution" -- not doing what got us on this path to possible extinction.

One of the major issues humanity faces is that, simply put, nation-states cannot solve a global problem. Evidence of that is that this year the United Nations will have COP 28, meaning that there have been 27 failures. This was covered in this post about COP 27 last year.

"Urgency" is the keyword that needs to be brought into the climate crisis conversation. If millions of humans are dying every year due to global warming, is there any reason to go slow? I do think that all the talk about "carbon neutrality by 2050" is lulling many to think we are on a path of correction. We should focus on earlier deadlines such as carbon neutral by 2040. We might miss that deadline, but why not try?

It has been fairly clear that if we continue on our current trajectory, there most likely will not be civilization as we know it in 2100, and possible human extinction by 2200, except possibly for those living in temperate Antarctica. Speaking of extinction, humanity is at cause of the rapidly increasing extinction of species by at least 1,000 times. Currently, on a daily basis, some 150-200 species go extinct every day due to how humans live on the planet. It is not just about us, folks. Every day we are responsible for eight species per hour becoming extinct. And we don't want to ring the alarm bell because some humans might be depressed?

Recently a non-profit I co-founded published a free eBook on this climate crisis.

Here is where you can go to get your free download in two different formats

Here are details about the book. At the very least, please read chapters 2 and 3, which will take you less than 30 minutes. Chapter 2 is a state of the planet and Chapter 3 explains why we got here and what to do about it. Again, the book isfree!

So, urgency is the word. Voting for politicians who are deeply concerned about the climate crisis is now critically important. Now that you know, what are you going to do?

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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