Action needed now to avoid climate’s tipping point

What’s a tipping point?

It’s the point when greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change from increasingly bad to catastrophically, irretrievably worse.

Picture the return of the dust bowl, the swamping of our beaches, the flooding of our coasts, the death of our reefs, intolerable heat and the multiplication of tornados, blizzards, superstorms, cloud bursts and so on that we are collectively calling weird weather.

That’s what our future has in store if we do not hold global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius in this century. We can do it, but we have to hurry.

Worst-case scenario: If we continue burning fossil fuels (and emitting heat-trapping carbon dioxide) at the current rate, we will reach the tipping point in 11 years. To head off climate disaster, we will have to leave 80 percent of all fossil fuel reserves where they lie and replace them with environmentally friendly sources of energy.

Byron W. Baker