Each month is 1%

April 25, 2021 by Joshua
in Nature

You may remember a couple years ago the headlines that we have about ten years to bring our greenhouse emissions to zero or we’d pass irreversible milestones. If we start thawing permafrost that releases methane, we won’t be able to stop it from releasing huge amounts that will augment the warming that caused its release.

Many people misinterpret the prediction to say that we’ll all die then. We won’t all die at once. We’ll only have locked in that the Earth’s capacity to sustain life will irreversibly decrease. Since that capacity is around two billion and we’re using fossil fuels to approach four times that amount, our population will collapse to well below two billion.

Blank Calendar

But I’m posting this time about time, not collapse. If we have about eight years left, since eight times twelve is about one hundred, we have about one hundred months left. Therefore each month is about one percent the time we have left to stop emitting.

Note that increasing renewable energy doesn’t necessarily mean decreasing fossil fuels. In principle we can burn less fossil fuels by substituting, but we aren’t doing that. We’re using using solar and burning fossil fuels. Every time we fly, for example, and the more we make ourselves dependent on flying and other things we can only use fossil fuels for, we hasten our demise. Jet fuel is jet fuel. Natural gas is natural gas. When we burn them we can’t un-burn them. We fantasize we’ll develop ways to capture the carbon, but nothing works nor is on the horizon.

We can stop flying. We can stop buying plastic, which supplies fossil fuel companies the funds to keep drilling. That is, it drives the system.

Anyway, every month, one percent.

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