In a recent interview on Britain’s ITV, Professor Stephen Hawking said that we could face a runaway greenhouse effect similar to that on Venus, giving us temperatures on Earth of 250C.
Such a scenario is believable. The Sun is getting brighter as it gets older. The Earth has remained habitable despite this because carbon dioxide has been drawn out of the atmosphere and stored as such things as fossil fuels and carbonate rocks.
That process is reaching its end, however. When Earth was created, a large percentage of the atmosphere was CO2, helping to keep this planet warm despite the Sun being so faint. Today the CO2 level is just a small fraction of one per cent.
However, as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is now higher and spiking more quickly than it has in hundreds of thousands and possibly tens of millions of years.
We really do not know what the consequences will be but, as Professor Hawking suggests, they could include all the oceans boiling away and planet Earth becoming uninhabitable.
Cathy Orlando, national manager of Citizens Climate Lobby-Canada, has a theory.
She thinks that once the mothers and the grandmothers of the world realize the extreme threat that global warming poses to their children and grandchildren, then things will change.
In other words, once those maternal instincts kick in, we male members of the species had better just get out of the way and let the ladies do what needs to be done..
Citizens Climate Lobby-Canada recently posted online a petition to Parliament asking for nationwide carbon fee-and-dividend.
Carbon fee-and-dividend is a method supported by Citizens Climate Lobby, climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and others to help control human-caused climate change.
A fee would be charged on all fossil fuels, similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a carbon tax, however, all the money collected would be distributed to everyone as equal and repeating dividends.
The fee would make fossil fuels more expensive, encouraging the transition to alternative sources of energy.
In order to do their job, the fossil fuel fees would need to rise fairly high. The dividends would make those high fees more politically acceptable.
The CCL-C petition needed 500 names for it to be read out in the House of Commons.
It has reached that goal and presently has just under 700 names. However, the more people sign it before it closes on Sept. 8, the more weight it will have.
Dr. Hansen has endorsed the CCL-C petition. He calls it, “Canadian common sense.”
If you are a resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen living in Canada or abroad, please add your name to the petition.
If you do add your name, please also check that you receive a confirmation email.
The petition can be found at: https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-297