Here’s how Johan Rockström describes the impact of the new exponential biosphere, speaking from the World Economic Forum in Zurich:
If I take 35 linear steps, I’ll barely reach the coffee stand outside of this room. What happens if I take 35 exponential steps(Steps doubles up)? I’d reach Copenhagen after 21 steps. Three more steps, I’m in New York. Another two steps and I encircle the entire planet. And, if I add another nine steps to my 35(+1), I reach planet Mars.
We need severe action and very ambitious targets to fight the exponential nature of climate change but also degradation of our energy sources. So do not live in the illusion some small scale photovoltaic project will help, we need massive scale up of project into the area of gigawatt instead of thinking in kilowatt and megawatt. As Robert Hunziker describes in his article:
The Great Acceleration, post WWII humanity forcing the earth system, is charging ahead at exponential speed, including record temps year-after-year-after year-after year and on and on it goes, relentlessly.
Fatally, many parts of the world become uninhabitable with a 2°-4°C increase in temps, too hot for human physiology. Under the circumstances, the human body cannot get rid of bodily heat fast enough. People die. Will worldwide average temps increase by 2°-4° and if so, how fast? Nobody knows for sure, but the outlook is lousy.
We need to understand that we are in a nonlinear exponential phase… we have overwhelming scientific evidence that humanity now faces a new juncture of grand global risk. We have in just five decades transitioned from being a small world on a big planet where we could allow ourselves to have unsustainable economic growth without Earth sending any invoices back to humanity up to now with overwhelming scientific evidence of a new big world on a small planet. We’ve reached the saturation point. We’re hitting the ceiling of the biophysical capacity where we can no longer exclude destabilizing the entire earth system.
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