On Climate Change, It's Like We're Lung Cancer Patients Sneaking Cigarettes in the ICU

ashtray photo

photo: Cellular Immunity via flickr.
Bill McKibben certainly has an enviable way with words: Nature Magazine has a new feature on planetary boundaries, which once crossed have devastating biological consequences -- and we've already crossed three of the nine identified. What McKibben does so well in a new piece for Yale Environment 360 is put this is more graphic terms: McKibben links this new Nature piece back to the 1972 book The Limits of Growth saying, "Only true ideologues or the most oblivious among us thought that we'd never reach the 'limits of growth', but plenty of people convinced themselves they were far enough away that they'd be someone else's problem."

Respecting Planetary Limits the 'Central Human Task'
And respecting those limits -- one of which McKibben points out is 350ppm for CO2 -- is the "central human task." Now, this is the part that makes me think 'I wish I wrote that',

Just as the man with the high cholesterol needs to think at every turn about his diet, his exercise, his medicine, so we too have lost the right to casual obliviousness that goes with not knowing. If we choose to ignore the warnings, we're not some 14-year-old smoking because his friends think it looks cool, or even the pack-a-day lifer with other things on his mind. Now we're the lung cancer patient trying to sneak cigarettes in the ICU.

Right on.

Read more: A Timely Reminder on the Real Limits of Growth
Global Climate Change
When Population Growth and Resource Availability Collide
Half of All Animal Species Will Be Extinct in Your Lifetime, Unless Emissions Peak by 2020How Hot, Wet & Dry Will a 4°C World Become? This Google Earth Layer Show You

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