‘Faster Than We Thought’: An Epitaph for Planet Earth

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/23-5

by John Atcheson
Published on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by Common Dreams

Sometime later this Century, a writer will sit down and attempt to document how his or her grandparents’ generation could have all but ignored the greatest disaster humanity has ever faced.

It won’t be a pleasant world she lives in. Cities and countries will be locked in an expensive battle with rapidly rising seas; but after spending trillions of dollars, most of the world’s ports will have been abandoned anyway.

Up to seventy percent of the planet’s species will be wiped out.  Gone. Vanished. Kaput. Songbirds will no longer serenade us.  Butterflies will no longer dazzle us.  The boreal forests – the largest belt of green in the world – will be gone.

Brutal heat waves will be the norm. Off-the-chart hurricanes and storms will be the rule.  Deserts will have expanded.  Haboobs, giant black blizzards of dust will sweep across vast portions of the US’s high plains and the southwest. The Amazon rainforest will be a shrunken, wizened remnant of a once vast source of life.

The once bountiful seas will be acidic crypts in which jellyfish and other primitive forms spread in vast sheets across the surface, covering the rotting hulks of the fish we used to eat.

Agricultural productivity will collapse, famine will be widespread.

Money for anything other than preventing catastrophe will be scarce.

By 2050, as many as a billion climate refugees will roam the Earth, spreading unrest, poverty, disease and misery. By the century’s end?  Who knows?

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/23-5

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