We are in uncharted territory. There has never in planetary history been a rapid warming in the way it is happening today. Two years ago, we achieved a density of atmospheric carbon in which no humans except us has ever lived under. Because we’ve done this so quickly, we can’t know how fast the carbon levels will heat up our world and how fast the glaciers will melt until all our coastal cities are drowned. We don’t know whether we will be able to water our crops or keep them alive through unpredictable freezes, floods, and droughts.
Legions of scientists have been piecing together the unfathomably complex system that is our natural world. But they don’t know enough to predict when (and it is when, not if) all our coastal cities will be drowned. Nor do they know how quickly the seas will rise once glaciers begin to collapse in earnest. Then there are the storms, the droughts, and the pestilence to understand, the of pests and microorganisms, and the extinction of species upon whom our survival depends.
Scientists know that they can’t come close to understanding what will happen and when. All indications are that the climate conditions are in a surge state and that the natural world upon which we depend to survive is dying. Unless we stop burning fossil fuel in the next few years, we will move into a state where the climate willl be heating up faster than we will be able to adapt.
Our leaders are doing nothing about this emergency. Our scientists can only give very conservative projections of sea level rise and surface temperature rise.
We are going to be relying upon our intuition.