Readers: some of the dialogue in this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Entries addressing events in the The future assume there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1.

Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether in the next few years, a revolution in the US is still possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US.  Most recent sense check, ENTRY #387.  

Some of the entries are part of a series.  Several series are available as easy-to-read booklets for download:

Prelude to the current series of entries: I’ve concluded Trump is a lunatic and the administration filled with lapdogs save a couple of people at CDC.  Instead of wasting time commenting on actions by Trump, I thought it more productive to begin discussing what happens in the US once the coronavirus is more under control.  #378 began the series. At this point not sure how many entries.  Comments and suggestions welcome.

ENTRY #392: In a couple of earlier posts, I noted I was working with a group of MIT alumni on actions to address the impact of climate change. Some of the alumni in the group are recent grads and some, like me, graduated seemingly eons ago.

The group is very much trying to be apolitical and focus on science and practical solutions. Such an approach is complicated by the Trump Administration’s refusal to make any meaningful decisions on a scientific basis.  All decisions, regardless of the topic, are based on politics.

How urgent is the need to address climate change?  Even if beginning tomorrow we could somehow reduce net CO2 emissions to zero, existing CO2 would have a warming effect on earth’s temperature for several hundred years.

The MIT group understands there is no silver bullet to address the problems with climate change.  Thus, the need to take a multifaceted approach that can: (i) implementing what technology is available today to begin to reduce emissions.  Even if the solution is not sufficient long term, a number of actions can be taken today that will reduce CO2 emissions.  Using biodiesel can reduce tailpipe emissions up to 75% in heavy trucks; (ii) what technology needs to be improved or even invented to reduce emissions to zero; (iii) what’s required to remove CO2, thereby shortening the time for the earth’s temperature to return to normal.

As a group, we spend virtually no time discussing whether climate change is man-made or a natural phenomenon. The point of such a debate is moot. Even if a natural phenomenon, we as a society need to take steps to mitigate the effect for future generations.

For those who think climate change has not been exacerbated by industrial activity, take a look at the chart CO2/ppm and the Earth’s average temperature. The change in temperature is significantly faster than any “natural change” in earth’s temperature.  The slope began to change with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and has accelerated since.

Okay, you say, but what’s a few degrees? Some years are a little warmer than others, some years a little cooler.  So it’s getting warmer. Relax propeller head, a few degrees is no big deal.

Well Bubba, the last time CO2 parts per million was this high was about five (5) million years ago. Yes, that’s 5 million. And who was the big dog on the block then? Not man. Although T-Rex was gone by then there were some really mean and nasty animals and reptiles.  And some of these guys were real bad asses.

And what else? There were palm trees in the Arctic Circle. Oh, I forgot the ocean was 45-50 feet higher.

That’s where we’re headed if we don’t make a major change…now.  The oceans already are rising quickly and will continue to rise for several hundred years. Even an increase of 10-15 feet, which seems more likely than not, would wipe out many coastal cities, cause huge population disruptions worldwide and create havoc for agriculture.

Still think climate change is a hoax?  Just look at the all the fires on the West Coast. Our old house in Sonoma County was burned a few years ago in a major fire.  And taking Trump’s suggestion about sweeping the forest floor won’t have any impact.  Mmm, sweep the forest floor.

Here’s what life will be like for your grandchildren and their children and grandchildren.  Much higher temperatures, little or no ice in the Arctic, and maybe one of the kids yelling “Mommy, why is that big Teddy Bear in our back yard?  He looks angry.”  “Honey, that’s a very hungry and very angry grizzly bear who’s looking for dinner.  Let’s hope we’re not it.”

Think about such a life for the next week or so.  And also think about Trump and his band of climate-change deniers refusing to take any meaningful action to address what contributes to climate change.  Are you going to be satisfied with some lame non-scientific-based proposal and some even more lame excuse that blames someone else for not taking action?

More on climate change next entry.