Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and although it probably isn’t true, it does make a rather nice story and we Homo sapiens all seem to have a substantial slice of the Nero complex hard wired into our genetic make-up. How else can you explain our indifference and our complete failure to face up to and do something about the record breaking levels of CO2 and global temperature rise that we’re now seeing on an almost daily basis. With CO2 levels and global temperatures both rising now at an alarming rate, Planet Earth is certainly burning, and if you haven’t noticed that then you’ve not been paying attention.
We simply must get off this idiotic policy where we believe that we can have infinite growth on our finite planet. Just let me just remind you of something I said in a recent blog post:
“More growth needs more energy, and more energy needs more fossil fuels, and more fossil fuels produce more CO2, and more CO2 makes for even more Global Warming. Look at the figures. It’s just simple arithmetic.”
Back in January 2016 in a blog post Mind the Gap, I reported another milestone that we have just passed as we all Sleepwalk down the Road to Armageddon. December 2015 was the first month since records began (March 1958) that the average December CO2 level in that year went up by 3 ppm more than the December figure for the previous year 2014. Hot off the press today from CO2 Earth as shown above, the annual increase for April 30 was a massive 4.75 ppm above the level on the same day in 2015, and the increase for the week 17 to 24 April was 4.17 ppm above the figure for the same period in 2015. This is real hockey stick stuff now.
But our apparent indifference and failure to act is not really the fault of Mr and Mrs Average Persons. Most of the blame has to rest with the media which appears to be completely indifferent to all things CO2 or anything which is in any way connected with global warming. The plight we are now in never gets the front or even centre page cover that it warrants. Instead we get the fiddling while the fire gets out of control.
Here in Britain we will have a referendum on June 23 to decide whether or not Britain should exit the European Union (Brexit). In the run-up to that referendum the media is devoting much time and newsprint to Brexit as if it was the major problem the world is facing today. We also now have the International Monetary Fund (IMF) weighing in and stating that a British exit from EU could do severe regional and global damage by disrupting trade relationships. An exit they say would risk causing severe economic and political damage to Europe which could spill over and weaken an already febrile world economy. Have the organisations which put out such statements, and the media which comments on and frequently supports them, not yet realised that business as usual is no longer an option, but is in fact the main cause of our problem?
The burning of fossil fuels by us humans is now well established as the primary cause of the rapid rise in the global temperature which we are experiencing and which has resulted in about 200 of the planet’s species becoming extinct each and every day. More and more scientists are now pointing out to us that if we don’t make a rapid and drastic change in the way we all live our lives, then around the middle of the present century, Homo sapiens, just like the Dodo, is likely to become one of the 200 per day species and also become extinct. If, or should I say when that does happen, I’m sure any surviving species will give a collective sigh of relief at our departure.
We are the ones who caused the problem and we are still screwing things up as fast as we can manage. If we don’t get wise and wean ourselves off fossil fuels real quick, nature will have to do it for us. Even if we did a controlled withdrawal, it would certainly not be painless. But if we don’t do it ourselves and leave nature to do the job for us, it will be a very painful cold turkey type withdrawal indeed. In the great scheme of things, whether or not we stay in or leave the EU is a complete irrelevance and is just another example of how we are still fiddling as our planet burns.