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June 26, 2015

Science writer claims global warming could wipe us out by the end of the century


We all know that global warming is one of our biggest threats but science writer David Auerbach is going a little further than most with a bold prediction that it is looking like it will wipe us out by the end of the century.

In an article for Reuters Mr Auerbach examines the writings of scientists who have predicted that we are likely to burn through all of our resources and cause irreversible climate change by the end of the century.

The main driving force behind his argument is a theory put forward by Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner in 2010 that global warming along with a boom in population of the globe will result in resources being used up too fast. Auerbach thinks not enough is being done to prevent climate change and in fact we need to reverse the trend in increasing emissions to have any hope of getting to the end of the century without serious issues of widespread famine and displacement from rising sea levels.

Auerbach claims we must make: “an aggressive effort to find the technologies needed to reverse the climate apocalypse that has already begun.”

It may be that the predictions of Fenner and others such as Al Gore were somewhat overblown but there is no disguising the fact that global warming is still a very serious issue that will result in catastrophe for the human race if we are not able to put measures in place to reverse it soon.

Recent talks at the UN Climate Change Convention in Bonn, Germany have fallen short “by a mile” Auerbach claims saying:

“The targets proffered by the United States (a 26 percent to 28 percent decrease from 2005 levels by 2025), the European Union (a 40 percent decrease from 1990 levels by 2030) and China (an unspecified emissions peak by 2030) are nowhere near enough” ( To keep us under the 2C global temperature rise target – that would result in a rise in seawater of over 1 metre) . And they run the risk of putting us dangerously close to the tipping point of a 6C increase that would destroy a large percentage of human life on the planet.

The problem is that we don’t currently have the technology to help us reduce emissions to the point where we are a carbon neutral society and without serious investment and concern over this issue from the UN and major global governments then we never will do. Mr Auerbach is essentially claiming that there is no hope for us at the moment as whatever we do now might not be enough. Meanwhile large parts of the population including the American right and countries that are still developing and relying on old high emission industries are unwilling to face up to climate change at all in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting it. The truth is undoubtedly somewhere in between.

Photo by Tim J Keegan

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