Sure. To grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis, you just need to do a little math. Fossil fuel corporations have 5 times more oil and coal and gas in known reserves than climate scientists think is safe to burn. We have to keep 80% of their fossil fuels underground to keep the earth in livable shape.Here are the three numbers you shouldn’t forget:2 degrees
— Almost every government in the world has agreed that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe. We have already raised the temperature .8°C, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the climate dice are loaded for both devastating floods and drought.565 gigatons
— Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. Computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2
levels now, the temperature would still rise another 0.8 degrees above the 0.8 we’ve already warmed, which means that we’re already 3/4s of the way to the 2 degree target.
2,795 gigatons — The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists, estimates that proven coal, oil, and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies, equals about 2,795 gigatons of CO2, or five times the amount we can release to maintain 2 degrees of warming.
A gigaton represents a billion times more mass than a metric ton. Right now, we use about 31 gigatons of carbon a year, and it’s increasing. At our current rate, we’ll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today’s preschoolers will be graduating from high school.
We’ve organized a big, expensive traveling road show for the tour. Ticket sales go toward covering some of our costs, but won’t cover everything.
We wish! We’ve had to carefully arrange all the booking details in advance to make sure things go off without a hitch, so booking is closed for now.
Time and budget only allows us to do the tour that we’ve mapped out. But we are just getting started with this work, and we’ll have more information about how you can host a local Do the Math event very soon.