There is a correlation between increasing CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere and increasing global temperatures. There is a precedent for this type of correlation = For example the Ozone Layer Hole and the Montreal Protocol.
- CO2 Measurement
- Cape Grim (CSIRO)= Increased Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide since 1980.
- Mauna Loa (NOAA)= Increased Carbon Dioxide since 1960.
- Temperature Aggergates
- GHCN (Global Historical Climatology Network aggregated instrumental data) = data since 1880, upward trend since 1980
- MET (Meteorological Office United Kingdom) = data since 1850 upward trend since 1970
- NASA aggregation of NOAA, NASA, MET and Japanese Meteorological Office = data since 1880, upward trend since 1970
- Individual Temperature sources
- Satellite data
- UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville) = data since 1979, upward trend since 1979 and then a cooling dip since 2016
- RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) = data since 1980, upward trend since 1980
- Sea surface
- CRU (University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit) = data since 1979, upward since 1985 and then a cooling dip since 2015
A small but consistent and global increase in global temperature would have a negative effect on human flourishing.
However what's difficult is:
- accurately measuring the severity of consequences
- distinguishing between natural climatic events and anthropomorphic climate events
- creating a predictive model that is both accurate and then provides a warning of danger
How do we evaluate the likelihood and consequence of an event?
- Historical precedents
- Imagining and modelling the scenarios
|Rare||-||-||-||Sudden die-back of critical food source||Alien invasion||Sudden black-hole in the solar system|
|Unlikely||-||-||-||Global theocracy||Super volcano||Future unforeseen global disaster|
|Possible||-||-||Global recession||Solar Storm||Meteorite strike||Malevolent world government|
|Likely||-||Major chemical disaster||EMP||Global pandemic||Nuclear War||Own death before Jesus returns|
|Almost Certain||Local waste management failure||Local Pollution problems||AI singularity||Loss of species diversity||Climate Change ??||-|
|Definite||Celebrity deaths||-||New wars in global hot spots||-||-||Judgement Day|
If Climate Change is a serious risk then we need a solution, but one that doesn't remove our collective ability to respond to other serious risks. Our approach to finding and implementing the solution should include the following aspects:
- An attitude of stewardship which desires to encourage human flourishing
- A positive cost-benefit ratio = the greatest mitigation for the littlest cost
- A scaleable approach that benefits human flourishing even if Climate Change turns out not to be a serious risk, but can be escalated dramatically if Climate Change grows in severity and likelihood.
[photograph from unsplash]