Like it or not, you took up smoking last week. All of Colorado did.
From a recent Slate article: “Denver was not the best place to be over the weekend. On Saturday, the city recorded the worst air quality of any city in the world for several hours as it continues to suffer the effects of the wildfires burning across the Western United States. The ranking published by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, listed Denver in the top spot of its ranking of 94 major world cities for several hours Saturday, with an air quality index that reached as high as 179.”
Like golf, high is not good.
The smoke lingered even as the United Nations released a damning assessment of the state of our planet.
The bottom line: We’re reaping what we’ve sowed for decades when it comes to our environment. From plastic bottles to fossil fuels to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to space-obsessed billionaires to cheap manufacturing to farting cattle to flaming Michigan-water — if you listen closely, you can almost hear the Earth saying, through clenched teeth, “Fuck around and find out.”
So, Reuters provided a handy apocalyptic “just the hits” roundup of the U.N.’s report. Temperatures will keep rising, weather is growing more extreme, Arctic summer could soon be free of ice, which of course means seas will rise and millions will have to move inland and compete for already strained resources.
The biggest takeaway: We’re “running out of time.”
Reuters reports, “Meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5C will require sticking to a ‘carbon budget,’ a term describing how much additional carbon can be pumped into the atmosphere before that goal is likely out of reach.
“The world is now on track to use up that budget in about a decade.
“With 2.4 trillion tons of climate-warming CO2 added to the atmosphere since the mid-1800s, the average global temperature has risen by 1.1C. That leaves 400 billion tons more that can be added before the carbon budget is blown. Global emissions currently total a little more than 40 billion tons a year.”
Oops! Our bad …
Torrential flooding in Europe, California wildfires breaking records year after year, and now places associated with endless winters are burning — Live Science reports, “Siberian wildfires dwarf all others on Earth combined.”
The news can be such a downer.
Then again, Coloradans don’t need some report to tell us what we already know — we can smell our troubled planet blowing in the wind.