Oliver Willis

Gore-El Warning

Al Gore has an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times.

Our home — Earth — is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings.

Without realizing the consequences of our actions, we have begun to put so much carbon dioxide into the thin shell of air surrounding our world that we have literally changed the heat balance between Earth and the Sun. If we don’t stop doing this pretty quickly, the average temperature will increase to levels humans have never known and put an end to the favorable climate balance on which our civilization depends.

In the last 150 years, in an accelerating frenzy, we have been removing increasing quantities of carbon from the ground — mainly in the form of coal and oil — and burning it in ways that dump 70 million tons of CO2 every 24 hours into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The concentrations of CO2 — having never risen above 300 parts per million for at least a million years — have been driven from 280 parts per million at the beginning of the coal boom to 383 parts per million this year.

As a direct result, many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several “tipping points” that could — within 10 years — make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.

Here’s hoping that the science-based warnings of "Gore-El" are not ignored like those of Jor-El, who was also disastrously right about a planetary emergency.