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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

Climate Chaos: Past the Point of No Return

As the pace of global warming kicks into overdrive, the hollow optimism of climate activists, along with the desperate responses of some of the world's most prominent climate scientists, are preventing us from focusing on the survival requirements of the human enterprise.

The environmental establishment continues to peddle the notion that we can solve the climate problem.

We can't.

We have failed to meet nature's deadline. In the next few years, this world will experience progressively more ominous and destabilizing changes.  These will happen either incrementally -- or in sudden, abrupt jumps.

Under either scenario, it seems inevitable that we will soon be confronted by water shortages, crop failures, increasing damages from extreme weather events, collapsing infrastructures, and, potentially, breakdowns in the democratic process itself.

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Start with the climate activists, who are telling us only a partial truth.

Virtually all of the national and grassroots climate groups are pushing hard to reduce carbon emissions.  The most aggressive are working to change America's entire energy structure from one based on coal and oil to a new energy future based on non-carbon technologies -- as they should.

A coalition of groups, including 350.org and 1Sky, have lobbied the new Administration to re-engage the US with the international climate negotiations. The Campus Climate Challenge is planning a new and more energetic clean energy campaign. Focus The Nation continues to exhort colleges and universities around the country to green their campuses. The large Washington-based environmental groups are pressing to improve climate and energy bills that are moving through Congress -- even though the bills are clearly inadequate to the challenge before us.  

The truth is that, even assuming the wildest possible success of these initiatives -- that humanity decided tomorrow to replace its coal and oil burning energy sources with non-carbon sources -- it would still be too late to avert major climate disruptions. Despite this reality, the activists are still focusing on the causes -- and not on the consequences -- of the crisis.

All these initiatives address only one part of the coming reality. They recall the kind of frenzied scrambling that is characteristic of trauma victims -- a frantic focus on other issues, any other issues -- that allows people to avoid the central take-home message of the trauma: in this case, the overwhelming power of inflamed nature. 
             
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Within the last two years, a number of leading scientists -- including Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), British ecologist James Lovelock, and NASA scientist James Hansen -- have all declared that humanity is about to pass or already has passed a "tipping point" in terms of global warming.  The IPCC, which reflects the findings of more than 2,000 scientists from over 100 countries, recently stated that it is "very unlikely" that we will avoid the coming era of "dangerous climate change."

In fact, we may already be witnessing the early stages of runaway climate change in the melting of the Arctic, the increase in storm intensity, the accelerating extinctions of species, the ominous, large-scale releases of methane and the prolonged nature of recurring droughts.

Moreover, some scientists now fear that the warming is taking on its own momentum  -- driven by internal feedbacks that are independent of the human-generated carbon layer in the atmosphere.