Mauna Loa Mountain Measures Highest Carbon Atmosphere Ever Known
Only before the advent of humankind was the Earth ever warmer
Saturday and Sunday recently, we hiked up around and below Mauna Loa.
Mauna Loa is a massive mountain. It was breathtaking, and beautiful, but something was troubling. It wasn’t the dearth of native birds. That’s common now. It wasn’t the constant roar of polluting traffic. It wasn’t the unseasonably warm weather.
As measured from the Pacific Ocean floor from which it rises, Mauna Loa is the largest mountain on earth, it is also world renown for its climate data science. This weekend a milestone was reached. For the first time in human history, that is since our species itself emerged as homo sapiens and began dominating the planet — carbon levels have reached, dangerous levels of carbon that contribute to climate change.
In other words, unless we leave dirty fuel in the ground, we will pay a catastrophic cost in every measurable way. We lose habitats. We lose food production. We lose cities to floods and fires. We lose a chance to intervene now in the (now trickling) refugee crisis.
Highest levels of concentration of carbon dioxide, more then 415 parts per million (ppm)were recorded on Saturday. It was just days after the UN report of one million extinctions predicted if we don’t act. It was just months after the alarming data on climate warming provided last fall. It was just weeks after Extinction Rebellion disrupted London life, forcing a declaration of climate emergency.
The Keeling curve, the infamous hockey stick, which graphically displays the incredible rise of polluting carbon in our atmosphere, just ticked up dramatically again.
Find your power and purpose
But in the “Un Real” world people are still distracted by Putin, Trump, Barr and possible impeachment, or they ignore even that, and live lives devoid of their own power and purpose.
They have not made the connection between grabby profiteers and forging governments that still want to raid the dirty fuel in the arctic and the rainforests of the Amazon. They don’t know, or care, about the dying animals because they have lost touch with knowing their critical sustaining importance.
This weekend, we also watched John Oliver and Bill Nye the Science guy on Last Week Tonight. Bill lit a prop globe with a blowtorch and used comically appropriate profanity to tell people to wake up.
We got up Monday morning, and people had not woken up.
I look up at the volcano. I wonder how long this island will be food and water secure. And I delight in the sounds of the singing birds, because their presence sharply emphasizes that birdsong may not be heard in less than one hundred years.
An increase higher than any known for more than 800,000 years sounds like it should be alarming. Life as we know it gone in less than 100 years sounds like it should be alarming.
That more people do not find it alarming, to me, is very ALARMING.