Are we past the point of ‘acceptable’ climate change?

Have we passed the point of ‘acceptable’ climate change, if there can be such a thing?  It’s a difficult question to answer, for climate is a complex system and our impact on it takes some time to realize.  More and more though, I’m hearing scientists speak up with concern about where we’re at now.  It would be easy to downplay that if our species was making significant progress towards reducing CO2 emissions to zero, but when you see those emissions increasing instead, you can’t help but be concerned.

The latest article I’ve found is in Scientific American, and basically talks about how the CURRENT levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are going to lead to really bad changes (‘catastrophic’ is the word used, but I like to remain at least a LITTLE optimistic…).  The scientifically agreed upon ‘goal’ for atmospheric CO2 concentration has been 350ppm (parts per million).  The problem is we’ve already passed that, currently sitting at about 390ppm with only increases in the forecast. (read more here)  The group is a great source to follow for more information about this goal, too.

The most frustrating part?  It doesn’t need to be like this.  We don’t need a revolution in technology to reduce our CO2 emissions dramatically (cutting CO2 to zero probably would require some radical new technology, but we can benefit a lot just by going after the low hanging fruit, so to speak).  The technologies already exist to provide most of our energy in clean forms…we just lack the political and social willpower to do anything about it.  Perhaps that can change…and it’s that hope that leads me to keep posting to this blog, in a perhaps futile attempt to influence others globally and enact change.

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