Twenty years from now we will all be looking our children and grandchildren in the faces and trying to answer that question. That is, those of us who are still alive. Forget all this talk about population reaching 9 billion; we will start to measure the loss in population within these next 20 years.
Why? Because there will be no place to live, and not enough resources. Not enough energy. Not enough food. Not enough land. There will be plagues and massive death inducing events, and living conditions for every human will be worse than they are today.
If there is still an internet and still a Blogger in 2027, this testimony will prove perhaps too soft.
The planet is in fact melting. Or evaporating, to be more accurate. Sure there's been plenty of rain and snow, but it dries right up again. Mountains are losing permanent ice, which means their rivers will eventually run dry for part of the year. Those rivers already fail, in some cases, to reach the sea anymore, so tapped are they along the way. This will become more common. The western states' new Colorado river sharing agreement will prove to be a fantasy, within five years.
The artic will be close to ice free in summer by 2011. I made that prediction two years ago.
It's called acceleration, folks. The more things melt, the faster they melt. You know it's true. You see it when snow melts. Once it gets started, it picks up speed. Same thing with the northern latitudes and elevations, and to a lesser extent in the southern latitudes. Why the difference? Because the only land which rests within the antarctic circle is Antarctica itself, which has very high elevation due to the enormous snow pack. Also, the ozone hole keeps things cooler. Also, it is surrounded by a very cold ocean with very strong winds. Still, there are coastal parts of Antarctica which have lost ice mass, enough so that the continent as a whole is shrinking, ever so slowly. But remember that thing about picking up speed?
So, these are easy predictions to make. One more prediction: we will, within ten years, be talking seriously about seeding the atmosphere with particles which either dim sunlight or remove CO2. We will not - not - get there with emissions reductions, and the concept of making carbon based fuel more expensive has a real chance to devastate common folk, who can barely afford their energy costs now.
Time to get in the game. We need to remember who serves who here. We serve the planet; she does not serve us. If we don't stop being so rude to her, she will have no choice but to slap us down.
Read this Yahoo story (via AP, of course), and really understand what it clearly lays out. It is time to get in the game.