A December 5 report in Earth System Science Data concludes that worldwide CO2 emissions are expected to rise 2.7% in 2018 as compared to 2017. This is the second year in a row of large emissions increases after a lull between 2014 and 2017. This report comes just after the Fourth National Climate Assessment which predicts dire environmental and public health consequences for the U.S. if the country does not cut back on CO2 emissions.
Scientists have been warning us for some time of approaching impacts from oncoming climate change. But now, increasingly, Mother Nature is speaking to us directly. In plain sight for all are catastrophes all around the world, including massive fires in California and Australia, more intense hurricanes, alarming flooding of coastal areas due to rising seas, bleaching of corals in the ocean, increasing desertification, massive melting of permafrost in the Arctic, unprecedented extinction of animals, etc. Yet, political leaders profess a denial of the facts, some saying “Don’t believe your lying eyes. Let’s just continue business as usual.”
Some of the climate science deniers and fossil fuel corporations even say “Well, it’s too late anyway, so why should we bother to change our ways.” But the point is, the sooner we act, the less expensive it will be to address climate change and the more likely we will be able to reduce its severity and impact.
The Creation we have, the one God gave us, should never be taken for granted, and it should never be abused as we humans have been abusing it---especially we humans in developed nations like the United States and Europe. We are not doing enough! Obviously pulling out of the Paris Accords is absolutely the wrong way to go. Even though Europe too has fallen short, at least they are projected to cut CO2 emissions by about .7% in 2018 because of their increased investments in renewable energy. At the same time, the U.S. is still the largest emitter of CO2 per capita.
Ohio and the federal government would do well to accelerate investment in renewable energy. And, to really be effective, this will have to include significant government subsidies. Some other countries are making tremendous progress. PBS just ran a report on Scotland. The country expects to be on all renewable energy by 2020! Germany, Denmark, and some other nations are on track to reach that goal within the next decade or two. In the U.S., we haven’t even seriously begun on that path. It’s time we got started.