Why I take part in the battle that will be lost

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The battle against climate change

We all know, or should know, that the climate is changing fastly. Data analyses suggest that the speed of the process is higher than during the past ages. The same data suggest that the difference between the present day global warming and other similar events of the past is that the human activity is a major cause of the unprecedented speed of the climate change.

Alpi Carniche a primavera

You may argue that our capability of measuring the actual temperature of atmosphere and oceans today is higher than the capability of estimating the same temperature for the past. This doesn’t mean that the data we have at hand are not clear enough to tell us that something is changig fast, faster than during the last ten centuries, too fast for us!

During the last few years the global movement “against climate change” was supported by many people, but the most known activist and testimonial is a Swedish young lady, Greta Thunberg, that begun her “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School Strike for Climate) beginning from August 20 in 2018.

Since then, Ms Thunberg, friendly called Greta by most of the people in Europe and North America, has promoted a campaign to induce the Governments of Earth countries to reduce the human impact on atmosphere and thus try to slow down the climate change. Despite the fact that most of the statements of Ms Thunberg are based on scientific evidence, she is facing criticism by many people in the so called “developed countries”, while the “developing countries” are simply ignoring the issues she is underlying in every speech, interview or writing.

Many hundred of thousands of young people are supporting Ms Thunberg and sharing her ideas, but it’s clear to me that no Government is considering seriously to follow the road she is showing. Mostly because the issues that cause concern in our politicians are not the same as those that really concern young people. Who is in charge of governing a country today is mostly concerned by the short term effects of any politics, especially in the so called liberism regime. Our economical system is based on enormous flows of money, true or virtual, that are generated by selling and using an extraordinary amount of goods and services. If we reduce the use of fossil fuels, for instance, we will affect a market worth some trillions of US$. Trillion is 1012, one million millions. You may think that Life on Earth is worth more than many trillions of US$, and I will agree with you, but present day politicians and business people will not.

0k, so it’s Us against Them and we must win to save Earth from a catastrophe that will make Life disappear, turning the planet into something similar to Venus! Well, if it was so, I would wear my Captain Friûl outfit and start a fight with no possible deal against the bad people. But it is not like that. The too fast climate change is too fast for many species and ecosystems, it is too fast for most humans, but will not turn Earth into a lifeless boiling sphere with a surface temperature of 850°F and an atmosphere made of carbon dioxide.

So why should I care? First of all, because I am a scientist and not a businessman, so I have a clearer view of the most probable effects of a fast climate change and I don’t like them. I don’t like the idea of a planet losing biodiversity and an ocean – atmosphere system that is warmer, so richer in energy. The matter about biodiversity is that our species thrived on a planet with ecological characteristics that will be lost. Many humans think that most living species are “useless”, some are “harmful”, few are “useful”. The latter are mostly those species that provide us food or services, like corn, cattle, sardines or chickens. Well, the matter is that we can’t really manage planet Earth and Life on it. The reason why we thrived during the last thousands of years is that the environmental conditions allowed us to do so. We adapted to many different climates and environments, we colonize equatorial rainforests and arctic islands, but our species was able to do so because of its ability in using other species that lived there before we came! If there were no large fishes and seals in Alaska, humans would not have crossed the so called Bering Strait Bridge and America would have actually been discovered 23 thousands of years later by European sailors.

So, I know we are facing hard times, I am aware of the fact that limiting the emission of “greenhouse gases” would change the present day economical system so the developed countries will not really act to reduce the impact of their industries on the atmosphere composition, nevertheless I think that we all should make our part, telling the truth about the results of studies and model applications, helping the public to be more and more aware of the consequences of the present day fast climate change.

Some links:
NOAA Future Climate
European Commission Climate Action
Climate Action Tracker

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