Climate Change: Have We Reached the Point of No Return?

Originally published The Real News Network

Examples of deadly extreme weather patterns are alarming. Droughts, killer heat waves, extended wildfires, drastically melting glaciers, typhoons, and extreme rainfalls leading to floods and landslides as well as sea level rises and mass die-off of animals all make it rather clear. For scientists, the debate has been long over. Climate change is here and these extreme weather events are the kinds of things we can expect more of in the future. But have we reached the point of no return? Is this extreme weather the new normal?

To discuss all of this I’m joined by a two-member panel, Dahr Jamail and Guy McPherson. Dahr Jamail is a staff reporter with TruthOut. He currently focuses on the environment and climate change. And Guy McPherson is Professor Emeritus of conservation biology at the University of Arizona. Thank you both for joining us today.

DAHR JAMAIL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Thank you. It’s an honor.

PERIES: Let me start with you. The recent James Hansen report surpasses all previous predictions related to sea level rises. Why is that happening?

JAMAIL: It’s because a phenomena is occurring called abrupt climate change, and it’s actually something I started to really become acutely aware of back in 2013, and became aware of Dr. McPherson and his work and conducted a long interview with him, and wrote a long article for TomDispatch.com called Are we already off the climate precipice?. And you read the article and the answer is clear, yes.

And the fact is, when we look at, connect all the dots, which Dr. McPherson has done and has been doing for quite a number of years now, that it shows when we look at the pattern of for example the IPCC worst case predictions of, whether it be temperature increases or sea level rise, or CO2 in the atmosphere, the reality continues to dramatically outpace the worst case scenarios. And so the worst case scenarios in the modeling keep being amended with more new data coming in, and the reality is that the reality keeps outpacing it to the extent that even the modeling can’t even keep up. And we’re seeing things happening on such a fast pace now regarding extreme weather events, 1,000-year floods turning into 100-year floods turning into 10-year floods. Same with fires and temperature increase records, and all of this is happening so quickly and dramatically that there’s no question that this has been going on for years now.
Continue reading