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Chicken Little I Am #climatebreakdown

The sky is falling. The human made extra blanket on our atmosphere, composed of greenhouse gases, we keep adding to will lead to climate breakdown if we don’t make drastic changes in a big hurry. Climate breakdown means more of the earth becomes difficult to inhabit. Eventually it means more of our food supply ceases to function. It is not impossible, again if we don’t make changes, that anarchy will ensue, with groups of humans pitted against each other for ever diminishing food and water, until finally our species perishes from the planet. And we have a very short time to make those changes, or the trajectory is irreversible.

This is what 97% of scientists who study the subject think (100% of those who have been able to get their work peer-reviewed, the standard for credible research). The odds are better than one in twenty. I wouldn’t get on an airplane with those odds, but we are putting our children and grandchildren on that plane.

Sky is falling predictions have happened before. Malthus famously said the population would always grow at or faster than our agricultural capacity, and standards of living would not rise as a result. He was wrong, but only because technology he could not have foreseen (equipment, fertiliser) was deployed. Yields per acre and per agricultural worker increased, faster than population growth.

Malthus is often trotted out in response to climate breakdown fears, to dismiss them as doomsday predictions. But if technology had not come to the rescue, he would have been right. That doesn’t stop people from ridiculing his theories, because his predictions didn’t come to pass.

Today, we have lots of technologies to reduce our impact on the environment, to eliminate our use of fossil fuels, and even to draw down the carbon we have added to the atmosphere in the past. I hope we deploy them fast enough and that my doomsday scenarios seem as silly as Chicken Little’s, and I draw as much derision as Malthus has.

Chicken Little I am, and I want nothing better than to have people say I was an idiot because we do act and avert the breakdown of the biosphere, making my fears seem overblown and groundless.

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