Global Warming and Physics
Every once in a while I find a quote that's spot on. This one, particularly the part I've bolded, is such a quote. It is from a podcast of an interview with Bill McKibben on NPR's Fresh Air entitled "Climate Change Is 'Greatest Challenge Humans Have Ever Faced,' Author Says" .The link offers the podcast itself as well as a transcript. Here was the most striking bit for me (the bold is mine):
Having wasted 30 years, doing nothing at the behest of the powers that be, we're now left with a set of very uncomfortable and difficult choices. We have to move much more quickly than is convenient, politically, economically, socially. But what choice do we have? I mean, in the end, this isn't a fight between Republicans and Democrats or environmentalists and industry. It's, in the end, a fight between human beings and physics. And physics is poor at compromise, doesn't negotiate easily. We're going to have to do what physics demands.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org. 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide is considered a relatively safe concentration in our atmosphere. CO2 concentration was 280 ppm when we started burning fossil fuels in large quantities (coal at first) in the 19th century. Today the concentration hovers around 400 ppm. Recently, at the observatory on Mauna Loa in Hawaii (with continuous measurements since the late 1950s) a seasonal high of 415 was reached, higher than any point in the last 800,000 years. There is a local chapter of 350.org, 350Spokane.org. Another organization, Citizens Climate Lobby, is currently sponsoring bipartisan legislation, H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, offering a free market solution to address this existential threat. Check them out.