Climate Dominoes Begin to Fall

In bleak report, U.N. says drastic action is only way to avoid worst effects of climate change

Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific

Nobody needs to tell you that you’re going to die. But what if they could tell you not precisely when you’re going to die but the likely causes and conditions of your death? What would you do about it? You would take precautions or you would slough it off, too preoccupied with worldly things. Or you’d worry and do nothing. You’d keep on smoking cigarettes. My parents were like that.

And if you knew the climate was going to run out of control in a relatively fixed number of years? If you understood that life on earth would be forever altered for the worse; that millions would die or live lives of misery? Denying that prospective reality would be the ultimate dismissal of your rationality, even your humanity.

We learn now from last week’s U.N. report—“a grim assessment of how off-track the world remains”—that the present pace of confronting the climate crisis will inevitably lead to disaster. If you read this blog, you knew that already.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science tells us that nine tipping points are now active and menacing. They immediately threaten

the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

Meaning that they are so interlinked as to cause and amplify one another. Such events are, it seems, irreversible. Without our intervention, the dominoes will begin to fall. A revealing description of how interrelated our ocean ecology is was published by the Washington Post here. The salmon catch off the coast of Japan is being depleted by warming waters, and the consequences are like so many dominoes falling. These effects are being felt in many places around the globe.

Remember the fatuous domino theory (predicting the takeover of communism) for our appalling encroachments in Vietnam? This time it’s no political theory but provable scientific facts that are impossible to ignore.

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