Sometimes it just makes you sad.
The science behind the greenhouse effect was first proposed 186 years ago. Climate change due to changing levels of greenhouse gases was shown to be theoretically possible in 1896. Mauna Loa has been showing rising levels of carbon dioxide since it came online in the 1956.
Public awareness has been widespread for 40 years. Hell, in Soylent Green from 1973 Charlton Heston living in New York in 2022 is sweating all the time because of the greenhouse effect. In 1992, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was opened for signature. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention was agreed, all but five countries have since ratified it.
In 2006, the Stern Report showed that climate change could decrease global GDP by 20% this century and be avoided with an investment of 2% a year concluding: “Tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy for the longer term and it can be done in a way that does not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries”
And, for all that we are clearly aware there is a major problem, we haven’t even managed to stop emissions rising.
We are completely dependent on oil to sustain our populations and economies. As someone said to me the other day, over the past century we’ve turned 1.5 trillion barrels of oil into an extra 5 billion people, most of them consuming beyond the imagination of their great-grandparents.
And we show no sign of breaking our dependency. Sure President Obama has just come out and said the US and the world needs to get off its oil addiction. But, just as we’ve been talking about climate change for nearly two centuries, before it was even a problem, and done nothing about it, Presidents have been declaring its time to end the oil age for 40 years and nothing has changed.
Once again, the Daily Show lays it out better than you would ever see in the ‘real’ media: