Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Apt Metaphor for our Future

Jenness Pond ethereal this morning, dissolving in heavy fog

December 2nd: On this bleached-out, foggy Sunday morning, I watch yet another warm front approach, melting the first skim of ice trying to form on Jenness Pond. Forty years ago the pond would have been frozen over by Thanksgiving and we would have been skating already. 

Ghostly tracks spiral 
on the thawing ice.

Unlike DNA, 
they meander,
have no plan, 
going nowhere,
like our response 
to climate change*

Ghostly tracks spiral 
on the thawing ice:

Going nowhere,
meandering, 
fading:
an apt metaphor 
for the future
of the human race.

Postscript: Monday morning, December 3rd
Ducks swim by last remaining remnants of ice from yesterday.
Alas, the tracks have vanished without a trace.

According to new international calculations on global emissions published today in the journal Nature Climate Change: Last year, all the world's nations combined pumped nearly 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels; That's about a billion tons more than the previous year.

Because emissions of the key greenhouse gas have been rising steadily and most carbon stays in the air for a century, the study concludes that it is not just unlikely but "rather optimistic" to think that the world can limit future temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the goal set three years ago in a nonbinding agreement by nearly 200 nations.

One leading climate scientist says we must start reducing world emissions now and we need to "throw everything we have at the problem." But, in point of fact, we are doing little to nothing on a scale that would make a real difference.


Soon it will be too late as stated by Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in Canada who was not part of the study: "We are losing control of our ability to get a handle on the global warming problem."


xxx

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