A recent study along with Trump’s platform for the 2016 election means it’s pretty much game over in the fight to save ourselves

A new study has recently been published stating that temperature rises by 2100 could be between 4.8 to 7.4oC rather than the current consensus of 2.6 to 4.8oC. This is extremely worrying because this estimation was made on our current pollution rate. But with the new president Trump saying he would remove the “red tape” of environmental regulation and tear up climate deals such as Paris, it seems the prediction looks too optimistic.

The study found that the planet may be more sensitive to greenhouse gases, when said gases are warmer. This, along with the fact that no state will have any reason to reduce their emissions if Trump stays true to his environmental promises means that the end of the world could be seen in our lifetime.

You might be thinking, what’s the harm in a few more centigrade – well it’s huge. It’s currently estimated that if the seas raise in temperature by 6oC it would lead to a drastic reduction of oxygen in our atmosphere plus climates that one could only imagine in a nightmare.

“Once we get to that point there’s no hope, we’ll have no conceivable way of stopping the complete extinction of our species.”

This isn’t to say that a 4.8-degree world would be all lollipops and rainbows. Massive droughts and starvation would wreak havoc throughout the world, due to animal farming straining water resources, while rising temperatures destroy the supply. At this temperature we could also see run away climate change, where methane currently trapped in permafrost underground would escape causing massive feedback loops where the temperature rises would no longer be caused by humans. Once we get to that point there’s no hope, we’ll have no conceivable way of stopping the complete extinction of our species.

However, although the odds are stacked very much against us there are still actions we can take to change our fate. One thing is to get involved in climate activism; government policy is very often shaped by the actions of the people they are meant to represent. Another thing is to take ethical consumerism very seriously. Vegan diets, boycotting the airline industry, shedding away consumerism, not heating your home, not having children and anything else you can do to reduce your or others’ carbon footprints.

And on climate activism something drastically has to change about tactics. Small goals such as divestment are no longer enough, instead a complete and utter disruption of the current energy infrastructure is needed. Whether it be disrupting and occupying coal plants, or even taking more extreme methods such as what the ANC did against the apartheid government. This won’t stop the problem but will hopefully give us enough time to come up with a technological solution.

The chances though are stackedvery much against this happening. Climate activism is not an area filled with violent activists, and it doesn’t seem like campaigns in this area are seeing a big increase in intake. We may very well be the penultimate generation.

IMAGE: Pixabay

About the author

Duncan Michie

Science and Technology Editor

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