With the box-office-blowing success of Interstellar, the world now turns its eyes towards space travel, and what lies beyond our small blue planet. But only temporarily, because we all know that in the status quo our farms are doing just fine, our Earth’s dust levels are relatively stable, and global warming is just another dramatized apocalyptic scare. Right?
Wrong. And we don’t think so either! I mean just ask the person right next to you, or anyone you can immediately contact for that matter, and chances are you’ll find that most individuals following the news and staying on top of things really do recognize that there is a threat concerning our planet’s health, and therefore our safety.
They recognize, but they just don’t care as much as they should.
In fact, the reaction towards global warming that we have as humans can be compared to a “Bystander Effect” scenario; just on a much more massive scale. This situation depicts the typical sequence of events when a large crowd observes a fellow human being in dire need of help. Each person assures himself/herself that someone else will do the job and save the individual in need, therefore justifying his/her own indifference towards the need of another.
This effect can also be attributed towards group situations, where the whole group is in need of a particular action being carried out. If the action can be carried out by a single individual, or a fraction of the whole group, and the group has no means of communication with one another, then each individual in the group is likely to abstain from taking action if the act of taking action comes at a personal cost. Simply put, all of this can be attributed to human selfishness.
And it’s exactly that that causes the general apathy we as a race display towards our dilapidated earth.
According to Climate Code Red, a temperature increase of just three degrees (which is likely in the future if countries around the world continue to act on all their commitments) would revert our world back to the the Pilocene state of the earth, which existed about three million years ago. At that time, the northern ice caps were nonexistent, and the water levels were about 25 meters higher. Furthermore, an increase of global temperatures by two to three degrees would likely turn the Amazon rainforest, and other major rain forests like the Sahel into savannas due to mega-fires, as the vegetation dries up, and the trees (which have no natural resistance to flame) have no moisture to fend off inevitable fumes.
This would increase carbon levels in the atmosphere twofold-threefold, making the earth virtually uninhabitable for many species currently living on the planet, including humans.
And apparently, a 4 degree temperature increase would end vegetation on the planet.
Can we really afford to let our psychological tendencies govern us? Especially now?
(photo credit: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/Bystander_final-Damian.jpg)