I’ve been a climate activist since the millennium turned, twelve long years ago. It’s been an eternity of global-warming days since then. I’ve rallied, marched, petitioned, organized, lectured, blogged, fumed, despaired, studied, argued and hoped. I’ve met leading lights – scientists, writers, and activists – and took their inspiration into the world, signing onto the party line and fully committing to our collective, world-saving goal: reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And now I wonder if all of our work has made any difference at all.
Despite all of our passion and desperation, Copenhagens and “Inconvenient Truths,” we’ve stood by helplessly as the rate of greenhouse gas emissions has steadily increased, as the climate has grown hotter and wilder by the year. It seems that so far we’ve been unable to come to terms with a painful reality: Our fight against global warming has not worked.
What I mean by “work” is quite simple: the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases would start falling steadily and surely towards pre-industrial levels of around 280 parts per million (ppm), and wouldn’t stop until we got there. That’s a fight against global warming that works. If we settle for anything less we are just kidding ourselves straight into a hellfire, chaotic and deadly world.
Read the full paper: The Fight Against Global Warming: A Failure and A Fix, Adam Sacks (2013)
Or read the short version here.