There is a 50-50 chance of temperature rises reaching dangerous levels over the next century, climate scientists have warned.
Even with heavy cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of 3 per cent a year from 2015, the chance of preventing the temperature rise from exceeding 2C by 2050 is no more than half.
Scientists fear that temperature rises above 2C would lead to wars over key resources, including water supplies, falls in crop yields in southern Europe and the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Almost a third of animal and plant species could become extinct. Warm-water corals are among the species most at risk; animals that will struggle to survive include polar bears and emperor penguins.
How could a society be so irresponsible? It must be the type of government it uses; its leaders; or shadowy corporations. It can’t be that the people got decadent, became detached from reality and used their continuing irresponsibility as a goal, so that every other action became a means to perpetuating that state of irresponsibility.
Why not just tolerate the dumb actions of others? Because they have secondary consequences and if not that, they lower the social standard — think of the Broken Windows theory — to a lower level, so that everything dumbs down.
Irresponsibility, stupidity, ignorance, poverty, consumerism, materialism, etc. are not modern inventions. They’re the default state of humankind. Every time a society gets its act together to rise above that state, it has a few centuries of learning before the idiots proliferate and drag it down into oblivion.
What defines this default state? Disorganization, because the individual has become more important than the collective.
The mother of three pulled up her sari and defecated with the Taj Mahal in plain view.
With that act, she added to the estimated 100,000 tons of human excrement that Indians leave each day in fields of potatoes, carrots and spinach, on banks that line rivers used for drinking and bathing and along roads jammed with scooters, trucks and pedestrians.
In the shadow of its new suburbs, torrid growth and 300- Âmillion-plus-strong middle class, India is struggling with a sanitation emergency. From the stream in Deviâ€™s village to the nationâ€™s holiest river, the Ganges, 75 percent of the countryâ€™s surface water is contaminated by human and agricultural waste and industrial effluent. Everyone in Indian cities is at risk of consuming human feces, if theyâ€™re not already, the Ministry of Urban Development concluded in September.
Every day, 1,000 children younger than 5 years old die in India from diarrhea, hepatitis- causing pathogens and other sanitation-related diseases, according to the United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund.
Some 665 million Indians practice open defecation, more than half the global total.
It’s how nature both helps us and hurts us.
We can survive easily, but that default state is one from which it’s hard to rise.
To do so, we have to think farther into the future, like “If I defecate here, it will eventually end up somewhere near my food supply.”
This is why ancient civilizations dug toilets to concentrate waste away from themselves. That was responsibility.
But fallen civilizations, like India or Greece or Rome, have a perverse way of returning to irresponsibility full-tilt.
The World Bank predicts the global economy will shrink this year for the first time since World War II, and sees trade at its lowest point in 80 years.
The World Bank also said Sunday the growing global financial crisis will create a multibillion-dollar financing shortfall for poor and developing nations.
A group of 129 countries face a shortfall of $270 to $700 billion this year, the World Bank says. It warns international financial institutions will not be able to cover even the low end of that estimate.
Luckily, the pusher is withdrawing our drug. This current recession is no big deal; it’s a symptom of a larger situation, which is a re-adjustment of wealth based on actual earnings potential.
Disorganized, irresponsible populations who blame others for their own dysfunction don’t have much future value, do they?