I write this for my children and their children as well as for yours. Global Warming may not affect our lives. If we aren’t in the path of a virulent hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flash flood, Tsunami, earthquake, and or drought, and our home doesn’t sit on a scenic coastline, flood plain, or island, we’re going to be just fine.
It is a fact that burning fossil fuels causes emissions that increase the density of our atmosphere and keep the heat from escaping into space. The oil, gas, and coal emissions give off carbon dioxide. With no place to go, it saturates the air we breathe, compromising our health. It saturates our water, creating carbonic acid, and kills off species of fish and plankton on which aquatic creatures feed.
In addition, the emissions forming the barrier around the earth, keep the heat and radiation in, much like a car, in winter, sitting in the sun. The atmospheric heat bounces back to earth and warms the air, water, and land. In fact, “the heat accumulating in the Earth because of human emissions is roughly equal to the heat that would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs exploding across the planet every day.”
It is happening now, and it’s only going to get worse.
The rise in air temperatures affects the food production growing season, the migration and food sources of animals. The increasing dramatic weather patterns and resulting in devastating destruction of landscapes and population centers. Recovery, if possible, costs millions of dollars, not to mention personal loss and death.
The rise in water temperatures expands the volume of water and puts all shore development at risk. It’s increased volume also adds greater mass and force to wind-whipped waves, threatening anything that stand in its wake.
The rise in land temperatures buckles roadways, structures, and forests, and, thaws the permafrost.
Permafrost? that’s Russian, right?
Permafrost is soil and rock that remains below freezing for at least two years and covers approximately twenty-four percent of the Northern Hemisphere. It accounts for sixty percent of Russia’s land mass – think the size of France and Germany.
“Trapped in the permafrost are an estimated 70,000 million tons of methane—which has the equivalent warming potential of 70 times the world’s current total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Should a significant quantity of this be released, it could represent one of the “tipping points” climate scientists warn about—massive changes in the process of global warming that are not usually included in standard models.”
Global warming is affecting the permafrost which is releasing methane to the fossil fuel generating Carbon Dioxide. Left unchecked, our world is going to become an oven. The land will be baked and unusable, the acidic water undrinkable, and the air unbreathable. And if that happens, everyone will die. Our grandchildren will die.
It could be in twenty years, thirty years, or a hundred years. One thing is for sure, only those governments which have invested in the clean energy from air, sun, and water, will have any chance of survival. Those which insist on fossil fuels are taking the long view. Betting that the world cycled before and it’ll cycle again, forgetting previous cycles wiped out life on this planet.
In taking the long view and burning gas, coal, and oil with no end in sight, investors are pouring money into the fossil fuel industry, counting on oil fields, pipelines, coal mines, and fracking to be the fuels of choice. Their portfolios are fat and they plan to hand their children the profits from their investments. This is called, the Carbon Bubble.
One problem. Fossil fuel stock valuations are based on current production and in-ground reserves. If in-ground reserves never get used, the valuation drops like a rock. The melting permafrost (methane) and uncontrolled fossil fuel emissions (carbon dioxide) are expected to accumulate faster than expected. To preserve life as we know it for as long as we can, we must stop generating carbon dioxide because although we can’t stop the methane, we can slow it down by keeping global warming to a minimum.
That sound you just heard is the “POP” of the Carbon Bubble. Investors, think of it as the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Housing Bubble. Too complicated? Think of Fossil Fuel as Bernie Maddow — big promises, no returns. Why? The ground reserves will never, can never be used if we are to survive.
The Fossil Fuel industry knows this. To counter the inevitable, there is Fuel Rush on to pump, sell, and burn as much as possible as soon as possible. Build the pipelines. Foul clean water. Ignore tribal lands and treaties. Let the permafrost thaw as quickly as possible so Putin can extract and sell the oil before it’s too late. The overall philosophy — make money while there is still time.
Then comes the inevitable global ban on burning fossil fuel. “POP.” The Carbon Bubble shatters and the stocks tank. Oil reserves are worthless. No return on investment. No investment.
Who in their right mind would let this happen? Corporations with huge interests in the fossil fuel industry and huge coffers of money to support movements and government leaders who are persuaded that this long view is supportable. And, they knew about this whole issue way before anyone even dreamed of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Going backward isn’t going to help us, our children, or our grandchildren. We must move forward on two fronts. First, #RESIST any and all efforts to undermine the science, the EPA, and the National Park Service. Second, encourage divesture from fossil fuel companies. Lobby to remove these stocks from the investment portfolios of banks, colleges, institutions, foundations, corporations, and people you care about.
It is up to us to ensure we have a healthy environment without sending the people of this country into bankruptcy…again.
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