A Choice Of Two Futures
Climate change: how bad could the future be if we do nothing?
Mark Maslin, May 6, 2021 (UK Conversation)
“…[The potential outcomes of the climate crisis offer two] very different realities…[In the nightmare scenario, global] temperatures have risen by over 4°C…[T]emperatures as high as 50°C have become common in tropical countries…Every summer, wildfires rage across every continent…[making] breathing outdoors unbearable…The deserts of the world have expanded…Around 3.5 billion live in areas where water demand exceeds what’s available…The Arctic is free of sea ice every summer…[Major cities, including Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Miami, are already flooded and uninhabitable…[Winter storms cause] widespread wind damage and flooding each year…Food and water insecurity has increased around the world…Half of the land devoted to agriculture in the past is now unusable…Crop yields are at their lowest levels since the middle of the 20th century. Fish stocks have collapsed…[D]eaths from tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and respiratory illnesses are at their highest levels in human history…[Or] humanity rises to the challenge…
…[If, by 2100, we did] everything in our power to contain climate change…Global temperatures rose to 1.5°C by 2050 and remained there…Fossil fuels have been replaced by renewable energy. Over a trillion trees have been planted…The air is cleaner than it has been since before the industrial revolution…Cities have been restructured to provide all-electric public transport and vibrant green spaces. Many new buildings have a photoelectric skin which generates solar energy and green roofs which cool the cities…High-speed electric trains reaching 300 mph link many of the world’s major cities…[Emissions-free fuels power intercontinental] flights…Global diets have shifted away from meat…Half of the Earth is dedicated to restoring the natural biosphere and its ecological services…[The outcome] depends on what decisions are made today…” click here for more