Some Consequences of the Inability to Halt Global Climate Change
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What kind of a world does humankind want? If it is one that closely resembles the one we have it is essential to avoid the consequences of _business as usual. The biological diversity now present constitutes the biospheric life support system that has maintained conditions favorable to the genus Homo for approximately two million years. The precise location of both ecological and societal tipping points is not discernable until they have been passed. In short, the consequences, once tipping points have been passed, are not reversible in time frames of interest to humans. Taking precautions to avoid passing tipping points and thus avoiding the consequences that might well make the planet less habitable for humans seems prudent. All the consequences are interrelated and there are usually interactions between them, which means coping with the problems at a system level. When a tipping point is passed, some consequences are predictable; others are not. However, the consequences already seen are dangerous to humankind, and the dangers lurking beyond the next global, climatic tipping point are likely to be catastrophic.