When you truly look at our planet, even our universe in simplistic terms, what has occurred to create life is just a series of chemical reactions, contained in a restricted bowl.
The stars (sun’s) we see in the night sky are just hydrogen and helium balls reacting, our planet we call Earth is a ball of molten iron which hadn’t cooled down yet from when it coalesced.
Our Oxygen-rich atmosphere which we take for granted is merely a by-product of early life and photosynthesis again other chemical processes.
The atmosphere; an ultra-thin gas shroud when compared to the whole planet, can be compared to an eggshell. Our excellent and breathable air is as just as thin. Apologies if I am teaching granny to suck eggs here.
What I have dubbed as ‘The Gold Fish Bowl Effect’ after seeing our fish get slowly choked up in their crap. The parallels with our planet’s problems are uncanny. Without correct and measured tolerances in place, those fish would have died very slowly, but very surely.
Humanity has been slowly, but surely changing the Earth’s atmospheric chemical composition for tens of thousands of years. The first Earth’s climate although consistently changing, always had vast reserves of thick forests which acted as a planetary filtration system, allowing the atmosphere to be tolerable to live.
Unfortunately, over these long time scales, humanity has gradually chipped away at the planets ability to filter its atmosphere, and just like the goldfish mentioned above bowl, we have been consistently accelerating the amount of crap we daily pump into our bowl while taking away its ability to deal with that crap through forestation.
The goldfish bowl effect; in effect
The nuts and bolts of the situation; is to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of heating, which credible scientists regard as the safety limit, then our emissions must be no more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the current level is around 390ppm. This situation gives us an ever-narrowing time gap to keep our goldfish bowl habitable. The window to reverse our destruction will soon close forever.
I think it’s essential to have a sense of urgency. When the world discovered leaded petrol was dangerous the reaction and remedy were swift and without question; the same too with CFC’s and ozone-depleting gases.
With the economic slowdown, we have an unprecedented and one-time chance to change capitalism, change the way we look at our environment and tackle global heating, or without question; it will be a crappy future for our biosphere and our kids.