Imagine that the much-feared-atomic-bomb World War Three has broken out. Imagine that bombs like the one that flattened Hiroshima are being exploded at over 4 per second, constantly, reaching 400 000 per year. Horrifying?
What if I tell you that, in effect, it is already happening?
At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Durban and Coast Horticultural Society we were privileged to have Jessica Brislin as speaker, and delivering a PowerPoint presentation, on Climate Reality. She has a BSc Hons cum laude from University of KwaZulu Natal and is the environmental scientist at an urban design studio in Durban. After a string of achievements, in 2014 she went to USA for Climate Reality Project training by Al Gore (American vice president 1993-2001) and his team. This project is to bring home the complete reality of climate change, and at the same time seek mitigation and adaptation solutions.
I would urge everyone to make themselves as aware as possible of the full facts. A visit here would be a start: Beware of the ‘I don’t want to know’ mentality.
Meanwhile, the headlines:
Is there massive climate change? Yes.
Is it manmade? Yes.
With proven fact after fact, video after video – many quite horrifying – Jessica demonstrated that climate change is not only a reality, but is already a catastrophic one. This is not just a fad theory, it is as proven as anything we commonly accept can be. More and more records show natural disasters happening on an unprecedented scale, and accelerating at a rate which is far exceeding already gloomy predictions. It is not just a natural cycle. Carbon levels, for example, are now known to be far above anything seen for the past 6 000 years – samples trapped in rock have enabled scientists to go that far back. To put things in perspective regarding the amount of carbon dioxide man is currently pumping into the sky daily, it equates to that which would come from the number of atomic bombs mentioned in the preamble.
Since the talk, I have done some research and found numerous qualified and persuasive voices in the Climate Change Denial camp. Even with my lack of background in the field, though, I find their arguments unconvincing, while the findings of the 97% who agree climate change is happening seem far more credible.
I have also looked into the phenomenon of denialism – why, when this vast majority of scientists believe that there is climate change, and that man is the primary cause, do nearly 50% of Americans deny it? The Psychology of Denial is fascinating and complex, and involves political and economic mind-manipulation and comfort zones amongst many other things – but, simply put, boils down to the ‘I don’t want to know’ syndrome I have warned against.
So what do we do? Shoot ourselves now, to put ourselves out of our misery? Not necessarily. The Climate Change Reality group do believe that, while it is too late to reverse completely the effects of our bungling, massive awareness, action and adaptation can bring it under control and susceptible to mitigation. Going for renewable energy is one of the most important of the required initiatives.