“Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I’ve spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we’re losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.”
It’s pretty worrisome that some of the most articulate and convincing voices calling for action on climate change are now despairing about humanity’s ability to get things under control.
McKibben’s article talks about how risky warming the planet by even 2°C would be, going on to point out that we are on track to push temperatures up by more like 6°C by 2100. If we want to stay below 2°C, we can only burn about 1/5 of the world’s proven reserves of oil, gas, and coal. Those reserves are worth about $27 trillion, which explains why fossil fuel companies are so desperate to prevent effective action on climate change.
The fossil fuel companies and the politicians that support them are winning the fight over what kind of world will exist in the future, and humanity did more in 2011 to make the problem worse than in any previous year.