A single bite of a viper can paralyze a human in a matter of hours. It's a relentless march to death as the tiny drops of poison move through the blood stream, attacking tissues and cells. Quick treatment is needed to avoid an agonizing end.
It doesn't take much to screw up a human's ecosystem and the same can be said of our planet. We are consciously infecting our global ecosystem with heat-trapping gases that will overwhelm our once-stable climate if we don't get our act together.
We recently broke a climate record that has likely stood for about three million years. The daily mean of carbon dioxide hit 400 parts per million in early May, as measured by some very smart folks at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
"Before the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, global average CO2 was about 280 ppm. During the last 800,000 years, CO2 fluctuated between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 280 ppm during interglacial warm periods. Today's rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended."
It's a big deal because as heat trapping gases rise, we can expect more extreme weather, meaning more dangerous droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and cyclones. And as if on cue, just a few days after the dubious carbon record was broken, Oklahoma was hit with a devastating, miles wide tornado.
Yes, I know, we can't blame every weather event on global warming. But it's hard to keep ignoring the ever growing rogues' gallery of heinous weather crimes against the blue planet. Besides the horrendous weather wallops in the U.S., extreme weather is devastating large parts of the globe each year. The climate toxins are marching on.
Some folks who don't like the science of global warming like to bang on about how great carbon is for plant growth. Yes carbon is an essential element in our universe but just like water, you can have too much of it. A flood is a flood. Even snake venom is a wondrous substance that is being increasingly used in medical research. But it's not something to be fooled with.
Some people also wonder whether climate change is the result of natural changes in the Earth's climate. It's true the Earth's climate has changed before, but it's always over long periods of time. We know this because of what scientists have discovered after rigorous research, subject to rigorous peer review.
So let's listen to what the scientists are telling us now. The Earth's climate has been relatively stable for the past 8,000 years of human civilization, allowing it to grow and prosper. But after research spanning the past few decades, it has been found that humans are forcing the change in our climate today. And it's occurring over a remarkably short period of time -- since we began to industrialize with the aid of the burning of fossil fuels.
Since the Industrial Revolution we have been injecting a dangerous venom into our own ecosystem. Now is the time to find the antidote to head off cataclysmic changes in our climate.