The Maths of Global Warming Made Simple

I recently read an excellent article for Rolling Stone by Bill McKibben that reduced some of the complicated perspectives on Global Warming to a few simple figures and some economic elements, and provided a rousing reason to fear for the future unless a paradigm shift happens soon amongst humanity.  Whilst I am nervous about reductionism on a number of levels, this message did feel like it needed to be shared.  The basics of it came down to the fossil fuel sector is holding five times more carbon in its reserves than can be burned whilst leaving us a good hope of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which means the solution to climate change is on the opposing side of a fence to the current capitalist paradigm of “free” markets that are unrestricted in their promotion of unceasing and ever-growing consumption.  This is because the fossil fuel companies share price is based on the assumption that these resources can be accessed and so they need to maintain this access to maintain their value (this value is probably most “valuable” when seen in an ironic sense), and as we all know they are big players in the political world because of the amount of finance they generate.  This then suggests we need to combat the current economic model if we in any way want to conceive of ourselves as a) trusting the results of science and b) being moral/concerned about the fate of others and the human race/planet as a whole.  If you want a more informed perspective on the information, which I hope you do, you should read the article by clicking on the link above.


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