For humans who can read, the press today is letting us know the "news" that we have successfully put the Earth's climate on track for a devastating 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperatures by 2100, a future world of death and destruction.
It is very clear that the people of the United States and China will assure that the anticipated world of death and destruction will be achieved by the year 2100.
But wait. Haven't we in California made some significant gains towards reducing Climate Change? Uh, yeah...about that....
Researchers at UCLA and the University of Chicago in a study released in August state as follows
Our analysis suggests several notable bit findings. First, wildfires in California have become a major and growing source of GHG emissions. Over the long to very long term, regrowth could alleviate some of the emissions, but this is unlikely to occur on the time scale necessary to meet near and medium-term emission targets needed to avert passing the 1.5 degree C threshold.
Second, the magnitude of the emissions makes wildfires the second most important source of emissions in 2020 behind transportation emissions, and one that appears likely to grow with future climate change. Average wildfire emissions from the past five years (~46 mmt CO2e from 2016 to 2020) ranks above the most recent individual contributions from the Commercial & Residential, Agriculture, Recycling & Waste, and High Global Warming Potential sectors. The latter includes fluorine-containing gases that destroy stratospheric ozone; sources include electricity transmission and distribution and semiconductor manufacturing.
Third, wildfire emissions in 2020 essentially negate 18 years of reductions in GHG emissions from other sectors by a factor of two.
Fourth, the additional global damages due only to the contribution of these emissions to climate change can be valued at $7.09 billion.
Simply put, California policies to replace most gas and diesel fueled motor vehicles - specifically cars and trucks - with carbon-free power sources sometime in the next two decades could possibly help limit Climate Change to a devastating 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperatures by 2100.
Over five years ago a post here titled In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind by discussing biosphere science reflected a foolish sense of hope even as it described efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
At some point in time, language regarding Climate Change needs to shift from phrases like "our analysis suggests" to reflect that reliable information shows an actual, nearly irreversible threat to lives and property around the globe.
As usual, Elizabeth Colbert who is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2014 book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History continues her effort to educate the world, writing her 2021 Under a White Sky offering a look at technological advances that might save this world.
In a July 2014 interview on The Daily Show with John Stewart promoting her book, at the end they both acknowledge a kind of despair. Hopefully, she sees something better today. You may want to watch that interview again. Or not.