A year of pandemic where we all stay home was going to help with climate change, right? Nope!
Economies worldwide nearly ground to a halt over the 15 months of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a startling drop in global greenhouse gas emissions.
But the idle airplanes, boarded-up stores and quiet highways barely made a dent in the steady accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday had reached the highest levels since accurate measurements began 63 years ago.
The new figures serve as a sober reminder that even as President Biden and other world leaders make unprecedented promises about curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, turning the tide of climate change will take even more massive efforts over a much longer period of time.
The report of a climb in atmospheric carbon dioxide was also published on the eve of a meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, where climate change is expected to be at center stage. The G-7 meeting is intended to prod major emitting countries toward more ambitious actions ahead of a major international climate conference in Glasgow in November.
I don’t think most people quite get what a disaster this is going to be over the next century, quite possibly leading to billions of dead people and the extinction of the majority of species on the planet. And evidently, we will do nothing to solve the problem. Even the best proposals are mostly just trimming around the edges of death.