Skip Nav
3 Good Reasons to Take a "Romantic" Getaway With Your BFF
34 Love Songs to Send to Your SO
5 Less-Romantic Realities of Living With Your Partner Everyone Should Know About

Global Warming Leaves No Choice But to Prepare For Extinction

Warming Leaves Us No Choice But to "Prepare For Extinction"?

Top scientist Bob Watson says that we need to prepare for a rise in temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. A jump that big would have catastrophic effects — it means between 7 million and 300 million more people would be affected by flooding and that the water availability in Africa would dry up by 50 percent.

In other words, 4 billion people left without water, 5 billion at risk for flooding, and half a billion left hungry. Some say there's no planning for that coming shift and that humans are staring down the barrel of extinction. Or in the possible words of Chief Seattle, "the end of living and the beginning of survival."

Want more science to hammer that home?

To see how far this process could go, look 55.5 million years to the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when a global temperature increase of 6C coincided with the release of about 5,000 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere, both as CO2 and as methane from bogs and seabed sediments. Lush subtropical forests grew in polar regions, and sea levels rose to 100m higher than today. It appears that an initial warming pulse triggered other warming processes. Many scientists warn that this historical event may be analogous to the present: the warming caused by human emissions could propel us towards a similar hothouse Earth.

Are we the new dinosaur?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Ebb and flow. It was hot in the 30's, cooled off in the late 70's and 80's, and it's warmer in the early turn of the century.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 9 years
although i don't think this is gonna happen now, i think within the next 20 years we'll find out. this summer has been so hot .. doesn't seem like there will be an end to the rising temperature unless drastic measures are taken.
kadams11 kadams11 9 years
I would just like to point out that about thirty years ago, humanity was in danger of dying off by ice age. Climate change is a natural occurence, and I think it's always smart to be a good steward of our environment, but is all this hysteria really necessary?
stephley stephley 9 years
No it doesn't. The world ending in a fireball is very different from people having to live with the changes caused by rising oceans.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
So the "the oceans will rise 20 feet by 2020, if we don't reduce our CO2 emissions" doesn't fit that bill?
stephley stephley 9 years
It would be a better point, I think, if Al Gore actually said anything like 'the world is going to end in a big ball of fire because we use our air conditioners'. But he hasn't.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
That's a very good point kh. I think both parties use scare tactics, just in different avenues. Republicans have terrorists, and democrats think the world is going to end. ;)
kh61582 kh61582 9 years
Why is it that when Republicans say you should be aware that a terrorist threat is possible and in the words of liberals use "scare tactics" to insinuate that Democrats are unfit to lead the nation when it comes to defense it's fear mongering but when Al Gore and his cronies say that the world is going to end in a big ball of fire because we use our air conditioners it's taken serious and it's OK?
Michelann Michelann 9 years
I don't know about other places, but they have paper recycling in Austin, Texas. You said yourself recycling plastic is not so good, so that just leaves glass. I just don't think it adds up. But I'm glad we can all agree that Reduce and Reuse are the most important steps in that list :)
amybdk amybdk 9 years
"I just wish manufacturers would create containers/packaging that can be reused by the individual consumer." EXACTLY! We have paper recycling here in Boulder, Co.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
But paper recycling isn't very common is it? Aren't most city recycling programs focusd on collecting cans and bottles? And Amen to less packaging. I always try to (nicely) remind people that "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is a prioritized list.
Michelann Michelann 9 years
"It still just seems like recycling is better than creating new" It SEEMS that way, until you realize that recycling causes more pollution and uses more fossil fuels. For example, new paper factories will often burn excess wood from their paper trees to fuel their machinery, whereas recycled paper factories use only fossil fuels. I just wish manufacturers would create containers/packaging that can be reused by the individual consumer. I also think we need to switch to paperless record keeping whenever possible. Creating less waste on the whole is a much better solution that recycling or throwing things away.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Hmmm. It still just seems like recycling is better than creating new, and I know I would be way less likely to recycle (and most people just wouldn't at all) if I didn't have my nice big recycle bin that my city collects every week. I did know that recycling plastic bottles is...not that great. From what I understand they can't be made into new plastic bottles, they're just shredded and the demand for shredded plastic is not very high. Perhaps I should put it on my long list of Things I'd Like To Know More About.
Michelann Michelann 9 years
I have less facts about glass on hand :) But I will point out that the raw material used to make glass (sand) is fairly plentiful.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
How do you feel about glass?
Michelann Michelann 9 years
That's not a rude question. But, yes. Recycling is somewhat of a myth. People say that recycling saves resources, but this isn't really the case. For example, paper recycling isn't necessary because there is 3. 5 times more forestland in America today than there was in 1920. In fact, 87 percent of our paper stock comes from trees that are grown as a crop specifically for paper production. Recycling also supposedly saves energy, but this is an easy myth to dispel because recycling and recycled materials are still more expensive than new goods. That's because the energy cost of transporting and re-manufacturing waste materials into newly used materials is so high. Furthermore, the recycling process can leave behind dangerous waste. For example, paper recycling produces 22 pounds of toxic sludge for every 100 pounds of paper recycled. Finally, people think that there is limited landfill space, but that simply isn't the case. All of the trash America will produce over the next 1,000 years could fit into a landfill 15 square miles in size. And landfills aren't dangerous, they're profitable because they can be used to produce methane. According to the EPA, based on ultra-conservative, worst-case assumptions, 83 percent of America's solid waste landfills pose a lifetime cancer risk of less than one in one million (about the same risk inherent in drinking a glass of tap water). And new EPA regulations are making them even less dangerous. And after landfill space has been filled, the land can safely be converted into parks and green space. Google 'Shoreline at Mountain View Park'. It's a beautiful 700 acre park in California with recreation space, a lake, and is home to a rare species of owl. And just happens to be built over a landfill. Sorry that's so long... I'm just fairly interested in this topic. I am pro- recycling aluminum because it is cost-efficient (and this energy-efficient) to recycle aluminum. However, I think people should to it voluntarily rather than spending city funds for collection trucks and collection facilities. Because it is actually profitable, the private sector can deal with this.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I hope this doesn't come out as rude, but you're really opposed to city recycling programs?
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Subsidies for ethanol. Recycling. Any "green initiatives" in general, because I don't think it's their place. And nobody has given me any money back from green initiatives, so I don't know where this money has supposedly been saved.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm not trying to be challenging, just curious. What has the government spent tax dollars on that you don't support? Don't most green initiatives also end up saving mney since most of them are aimed at saving energy which is expensive? And even if ecological catastrophe isn't headed our way, I think we all still have an interest in clean air and water.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
:notworthy: Mich!
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Wow. If UnDave works hard to earn money, I think HE should decide how that money will best help his children. He doesn't need the government taking it from him by force and directing it to programs that may or may not help a problem that may or may not exist! If UnDave is seriously concerned about global warming (which I guess he is not) he can voluntarily spend his hard earned money helping that cause. Otherwise, he should have the right to keep his own money and use it how he sees fit.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
"But "doing things for the environment" usually ends up costing us taxpayers money. That's the problem." Dave, i am not trying to have an argument or anything, but i would like to point out that according to your profile you have children AND you make a fair living. would it kill you to use some of your income to preserve a place for your children, and their children etc, to live in the future? just curious...
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
"Take your frustration out on a corporation not paying taxes to help, not the environment." Agreed. Corporate taxes are only the second highest in the world here in America.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
"Take your frustration out on a corporation not paying taxes to help, not the environment." that's a great and inspiring point, & if i may add, when you feel that your little efforts are futile when compared to all the damage that corporations do, do something about it (them) awareness is so important. it is basically advertising for the cause. in recent years my efforts have been steadily increasing, because of things like al gore's movie (and i havent even watched it-am scared to) my ideas: (which i try very hard to do) transit live in an area where you can work and shop DONT live in the suburbs if you are planning to drive to work, it probably is not cheaper anyways when you factor gas in bring containers (tupperware) to where you get takeout shopping bag reduction paperless billing efficient vehicles, NO gas guzzlers please! eat meat only for special occasions if you love certain meat dishes, otherwise just stop eating it! stop buying plastic junk and synthetic clothing *sigh* its so depressing how many of our habits are destroying the earth
stephley stephley 9 years
Take your frustration out on a corporation not paying taxes to help, not the environment.
Wedding Favors People Will Use
Coffee Grounds Garbage Disposal Cleaners
Homemade Drain Cleaner
The Safest Sunscreens For Babies and Kids
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds