Would The World Be
Like At 2°C?
By John James
04 August, 2007
the most progressive governments are giving up on the key target, which
is to prevent temperatures rising by more than 2°C. This is the
critical target. If you get beyond that, the positive feedbacks start
That's when the biosphere
begins to absorb less of the CO2 that we produce, and that is a point
beyond which we can't do anything more about it. 2°C global warming
leads automatically to 3°, because of positive feedbacks. 3°
leads automatically to 4°.
Once we get to that point,
we wash our hands of it. There's nothing more we can do. So we must
not get to that point. That is critical. We can't allow 2°C of warming
to happen.” George Monbiot
Combine the current temperature
increase with the latent heat yet to be released from the oceans, and
top it off with a temperature increase of 20% from the dispersal of
aerosol dimming, and we get approximately 1.5°C without any further
input from us. Given a few years more of the coal and oil bonanzas and
we will be at 2°C before we know it. Knowing the greed of this industry,
we can predict that 2°C is now inevitable. For scientific evidence
see our report in Footprints #10.
What can we expect in a world
of 2°C? What will it be like? Calling it the Age of Chaos may not
be far wrong - and there certainly wont be any beaches left.
Think about these imaginary
yet likely excerpts from a future newspaper:
Air strikes threatened
against Chinese immigrants.
The Russian air force has
been ordered to napalm the refugees pouring into Siberia from the flooded
Yangtze Valley unless the Chinese government holds them back. Millions
of men, women and children have been moving north in search of food
and shelter. Fresh water is particularly scarce as most water supplies
are massively polluted.
The rapidly rising sea-levels
have inundated so much of China’s food-bowl that two hundred million
people have had to flee. Most of them are moving north to the milder
climate that has recently come to Siberia.
The Russian cabinet issued
a warning today ….
Sea walls breached
The sea walls finished only
a few months ago to protect the wealthy houses on Long Island, the Florida
Keys and Byron Bay have been breached by the torrential rains and sea
surges. This has been feared for a while, especially since the Dutch
dykes were swept away last year leaving half the country under water.
Observers said that in spite
of efforts by the owners and the municipalities to strengthen the walls,
the impact of the hurricane-like winds and the torrential rain was too
great to overcome.
In at least one place the Damn the Dammers League deliberately broke
down the walls. A spokesman for the League stated “Why should
only the wealthy be protected?” Social unrest …..
Christian Aid disbands
The major missionary charity
has decided to close its doors and its 50 regional outlets. The political,
and in some instances, military opposition to their efforts to obtain
food and tents has become so destructive to their work the directors
have been forced to suspend all operations.
“This is a world tragedy” stated the Chairman. “There
are more hungry people every day, especially those fleeing the great
coastal cities that no longer have docks or sewage. Food in some areas
can only be transported by train, and lines have been broken in many
places by storms and mud slides.”
Founded over 50 years ago
Christian Aid has been the major NGO attempting to redirect food supplies
to starving city dwellers in Africa, Asia and lately to Europe. The
largest cities have been particularly affected by the 6 meter sea-rise
in low-lying coastal areas.
The English Prime Minister, speaking from the relocated House of Parliament
in Sheffield, stated ….
UN annual report
The Secretary-Generals report,
issued from new UN headquarters in Ottawa, states that it is no longer
possible to obtain accurate figures of world population as record-keeping
has broken down in nearly every country. As far as can be gathered the
world population has declined to just over 3.8 billion in the past decade,
though this figure could be exaggerated.
Africa and Asia have suffered the worst losses, mainly from starvation
and war. Australia has gained most, and now has a population of over
40 million, almost entirely from refugees. The tensions this has ….
scheme called a failure
The administrator of the
Family Hospitality Law has complained that refugee families are being
refused entry. Under the law only homes of less than 60 sq meters are
exempt from hosting one or more additional families. In the wealthier
larger houses refugees have been ousted at gun point.
Families demanding the right of free hospitality are complaining that
local vigilantes have forced them onto the street, and in one case out
of the suburb. “Its like an armed camp” one declared. “We
once had a waterfront home and when sea rose we could not renew the
insurance and the bank called in our mortgage. Though it was waterlogged
they took over our house and we were allocated to this place - and now
they have thrown us out. What do we do now?”
The local police office, when questioned, said “I am here to protect
this area. These homes are far above sea-level and we intend to keep
the area safe for those who live here. Federal law does not cut much
ice down here now.”
Last shopping Mall
The closure of the Westfield
Mall in Carolina has shocked locals, but they were not surprised. One
resident said “The small stores can no longer obtain the range
of goods that enabled them to flourish, and now that petrol rationing
has become more severe few people are prepared to walk to the Centre.”
The manager said “It
has been tough, especially as we were the last mall left in the city.
We tried to stay open, but could not.”
The government distribution
of essential supplies and food from local warehouses within walking
distance of most suburban homes has alleviated the situation. But even
with most back-yards being converted into vegetable gardens the cost
of protecting the warehouses has driven up prices....
Cabinet Report from
the Ministry of Health
… Concerning the spread
of malaria the Minister stated that it is now prevalent over most of
the globe to latitude 40. Because hospitals have been overwhelmed by
other tropical diseases such as Ross River Fever, and from the injuries
sustained in gang violence from the dispossessed and unemployed, it
has been decided to limit the government action to providing advice
to afflicted families. Drugs are in short supply, especially as most
were once manufactured overseas ……
OK, these imaginary articles
give a general picture of what we need to prepare for. You can imagine
that were we to plan our response in time, these transitions could be
made with a lot less suffering.
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