Mark Twain vs Ralph Keeling

June 28, 2021

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”, said Mark Twain. 

Ralph Keeling would beg to differ. Professor Keeling is director of the Scripps CO2 Program that monitors CO2 in the atmosphere and tracks the “Keeling Curve”. It is this graphic that demonstrates the direct correlation between increasing CO2 accumulation and increasing extreme climate events — such as the “historic, dangerous, prolonged and unprecedented” temperatures that are baking the Pacific Northwest today:

Carbon dioxide peaks near 420 parts per million at Mauna Loa observatory – Welcome to NOAA Research

Keeling and climate colleagues insist we can do something about the weather. Pieter Tans, a senior scientist with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory, noted that “We are adding roughly 40 billion metric tons of CO2 pollution to the atmosphere per year. That is a mountain of carbon that we dig up out of the Earth, burn, and release into the atmosphere as CO2 – year after year. If we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, the highest priority must be to reduce CO2  pollution to zero at the earliest possible date.

The solution is right before our eyes,” said Tans. “Solar energy and wind are already cheaper than fossil fuels and they work at the scales that are required. If we take real action soon, we might still be able to avoid catastrophic climate change.

We invite you to join us in taking real, sustained action. Here’s an opportunity to do so, from our friends at Climate Interactive:

Interested in joining a global community of climate leaders? Sign up for @climateinteract’s free Mastering #EnROADS course starting July 1. Learn fascinating climate dynamics & how to cultivate meaningful conversations on climate:

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