I wrote my first report on climate change (among three other emerging environmental issues) for Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute way back in 1978.
And the first blog in this series recorded a 2003 visit to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, where we learned just how systemic the crisis we are facing now is.
Even so, the way things are headed continuously takes my breath away. So, for example, two images I have come across in the past few days, while convalescing, brought home the sheer scale of what we are facing in the coming decades with climate change – and threw an uncomfortable light on where a growing proportion of the problem is now coming from.
The first image, above is from NASA, and shows that current carbon dioxide trends are, whatever the skeptics may choose to believe, unusual. The second came via Twitter, is equally shocking and shows that China used more cement in the three years from 2011-2013 than the United States did in the entire twentieth century.
This is not so much to point the finger as to underscore the extent to which China has clicked on and dragged across an obsolete industrial model from the West. If I try to put an optimist’s hat on, the best I can come up with is the notion that biomimicry might help inspire novel ways to produce cement and concrete – perhaps based on the way that the world’s coral reefs do it.