Environmental Commentary: "Heading for the Cliff"

Here's another page from my sketchbook of graphical visualizations of environmental issues-- climate change again.

The top figure (I) shows humans shifting our living conditions to another state, a warmer environment. The sphere rolling uphill represents the human enterprise heading for conditions for which it is not immediately adapted-- abnormal conditions. And for an operation tailored to normal conditions, abnormal conditions are problematic. This scenario assumes that we immediately stop emitting from any source carbon dioxide that exceeds the Earth's capacity to sequester it. In other words, our net additions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere are ZERO. This is not likely, despite the fact that we are the most "highly educated" and "technologically advanced" gang of humans ever to have existed.

The lower figure (II), under current conditions of concern and commitment, is a more likely possibility. There is only so far we can push the current array of multicellular organisms (mostly plants, fungi, and animals) into an environment for which they are not adapted. By the way, humans are multicellular organisms.

Of course there are probably more possibilities. Can you think of any?

"Climate warming possibilities" from the sketchbook. © Fred Montague

"Climate warming possibilities" from the sketchbook. © Fred Montague