How will humanity survive the coming century if our global civilization never manages to overcome its addiction to fossil fuels, curb carbon emissions and global warming continues unabated? What effect will a four degree Celsius rise in temperature have for our planet and the future prospects of our world’s ability to support and sustain a global population of some nine billion people?
The World: 40C Warmer
According to an article by Gaia Vince from the weekly science magazine New Scientist of February 25, 2009 the human species is facing a major existential risk that places our long term future into question. We face a nightmarish scenario:
ALLIGATORS basking off the English coast; a vast Brazilian desert; the mythical lost cities of Saigon, New Orleans, Venice and Mumbai; and 90 per cent of humanity vanished. Welcome to the world warmed by 4 °C.
The Earth of the year 2099 may be so altered by global warming and sea level rise that the carrying capacity of our planet is debilitated to the extent that we may see a massive die off of the human species and may face the prospect of a massive relocation effort of its surviving members to the few remaining slivers of land that can sustain them.
If humanity does indeed face such a bleak prospect then it has clearly reached the point in its history where it must take a more active role in managing its planet and all its life sustaining resources as well as the activities of its inhabitants on an unprecedented scale.
Clearly this is a vision of the future that no one wants, but it might happen. Fearing that the best efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions may fail, or that planetary climate feedback mechanisms will accelerate warming, some scientists and economists are considering not only what this world of the future might be like, but how it could sustain a growing human population. They argue that surviving in the kinds of numbers that exist today, or even more, will be possible, but only if we use our uniquely human ingenuity to cooperate as a species to radically reorganise our world.
Five Ways To Save The World
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.