Looking up some facts on coal, I wondered what the CO2 level in the atmosphere was, which is the carbon level from burning fossil fuels. NASA.gov had it at 407.98 parts per million (ppm) for January 2018, and it was at 402.5 in January of 2016. My stomach felt sick. How could it be?
It was a new number I began to understand and take notice of. 350 ppm is considered a safe level, and 450 ppm is not safe. It went up almost 5.5 points in two years. It had been going up 2 ppm each year. That is a big increase at 5.5 ppm! Do the math. It will take us hardly 14 years to get to 450 ppm if it continues to rise 5.5 ppm every 2 years. That is nothing.
And, on the subject of nothing, that is what the US is basically doing when it comes to climate change. We are supposed to be the best country in the world, and we are doing nothing? The US consumes the most resources and pollutes the most per person. There are only 320M of us in a world of 7 billion and counting.
There is an overwhelming consensus among all the countries in the world that climate change is happening, and it is created by burning fossil fuels. This affects everyone on the planet. The only thing the US is doing is burning more fossil fuels.
The Center for Climate & Energy Solutions has a section on the history of the climate talks. They started in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. It has a good rundown of what has been proposed and agreed upon at each summit. We have been talking about this since 1992! We really haven’t made much progress in that amount of time.
Business Insider, June 1, 2017, states 195 countries were on board with the Paris Agreement in 2015, except for Syria, which is in a civil war, and Nicaragua, which declined because it did not go far enough. Trump joined them and pulled the US out in June 2017, which won’t take affect until 2019. The greatest country pulls out of the Paris Agreement? It is mortifying.
Why can’t the US have a goal to get off fossil fuels like Norway, Sweden, Costa Rica, and other countries?
The clock is ticking. 14 years? The US is doing nothing. Why do I just want to scream?