Act Now Before It's Too Late
Dangerous Climate Change, Myths & Realities
We need to take immediate effective action to mitigate climate change. The window of opportunity is closing very fast. Many projections showed that we needed to stabilize our emissions by 2015 and then reduce them to zero rapidly to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 350 ppm as recommended by most established climate scientists. In June 2016 the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was nearly 407 ppm. In pre-industrial times the level was around 280 ppm. One of the most respected scientists, James Hansen, who headed the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says that we must get back to a safe level of 350ppm CO2. Bill McKibben's organization 350.org has been promoting this target for several years.
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their 2014 report documented various global carbon budgets for different temperature ranges and risks. We have calculated the impact of these budgets for Canada and Ontario.
More recently, Americans are being warned of the risk that they will face if they do not act soon.
U.S. National Climate Assessment
The third U.S. National Climate Assessment describes the Earth’s future: rising temperatures, melting glaciers, disappearing coastlines, rising sea levels, extreme weather, frequent heatwaves.
It warns unequivocally that if we don’t do a lot more to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the warming will “accelerate significantly.”
Climatologists say the data is frightening — they also say it won’t change naysayers’ minds.
“As we get more numbers and data, reports get scarier … it feels we have been underestimating the kind and amount of problems we will face,” said John Smol, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University in Kingston.
But he said it won’t be enough to convince climate change deniers.
“Some may change their minds a bit, but that’s about it,” said Smol.
"Damages from storms, flooding, and heat waves are already costing local economies billions of dollars—we saw that firsthand in New York City with Hurricane Sandy. With the oceans rising and the climate changing, the Risky Business report details the costs of inaction in ways that are easy to understand in dollars and cents—and impossible to ignore." - Risky Business Project Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg