No 910 Posted by fw, November 16, 2013
“The point is we are all paying today for carbon pollution. Every one of us. We’re paying in dollars, in lives, in jobs, in lifestyles. And in every way imaginable. This is not a theory. It’s not an opinion. This is the cost of carbon.” —Mark Ruffalo, narrator
My transcript of actor Mark Ruffalo’s narration appears below, followed by the text that accompanied the video on the Climate Reality website.
In addition, at the end of this post there’s a link to the costofcarbon.org website where you can calculate the cost of your carbon footprint. As well, find out how we’re all paying for carbon pollution.
[Video opens with scenes of climate related devastation]
So this is the cost of carbon pollution.
We may not realize it, but climate change is affecting us. All of us. Right now. We’re seeing it all over the news. From the bottom of the oceans to the tops of the mountains. In the faces of victims across the globe.
How did we get here? Let’s start at the beginning.
It’s 1824, and French physicist Joseph Fourier uses a vase and some cork to figure out there’s an atmosphere trapping heat and making the earth habitable. Right about this time we also hit the Industrial Revolution, the birth of large-scale manufacturing and coal power. And the beginning of the carbon boom.
1896 rolls around and a couple of scientists figure out that CO2 from burning all that oil and coal could affect global temperatures. Their numbers based on this fuel consumption rate showed that we had a few thousand years before we had to worry. So we didn’t.
Then the 1960s came and things started getting ugly. No, worse. Charles Keeling had captured enough data to determine that carbon levels in the sir were directly related to the amount of fossil fuel burned. And that levels were going up.
In 2012 NASA declared 2000 – 2009 the warmest decade on record. But, hey, what does NASA know? [Clip of “One small step for man” moon walk]. Oh, yeah, that.
And that’s sort of the way it’s gone.
Which brings us to today. Today we live in a world of extreme erratic weather. And here’s the kicker: it’s costing us, big time. Right now.
In 2013, insurance losses from flooding in central Europe were estimate at $3.9 billion dollars. In Australia, the 2013 Dunalley fire alone cost roughly $87 million dollars. And these costs don’t just end with the massive damage control bill, the effects ripple through our lives costing us in other ways.
Take Hurricane Sandy for example. The initial damages cost roughly $65 billion dollars. But what about the small business owners, all the lost merchandise, customers, or their entire business because of the flooding. And it’s not just money. Some of us are paying with lives and livelihood. Others are paying in pain, damage and suffering.
In fact, the climate crisis is recognized as one of the world’s leading threats to political stability and national security. The point is we are all paying today for carbon pollution. Every one of us. We’re paying in dollars, in lives, in jobs, in lifestyles. And in every way imaginable.
This is not a theory. It’s not an opinion. This is the cost of carbon.
The science is settled. Our planet is heating up, and carbon pollution from Dirty Energy is to blame. The fossil fuel industry burns oil, coal and gas, sending heat-trapping emissions into the air. Ninety million tons of carbon pollution enters the atmosphere every day. That means a hotter world for all of us. It also leads to Dirty Weather, from extreme rainstorms to prolonged drought.
Nine of the ten hottest years on record were in the past twelve years. Just in recent months, extreme rainfall and floods have affected us everywhere from the Mississippi Valley to Beijing. Superstorm Sandy both devastated human lives and led to tens of billions of dollars in damages. The most severe drought in decades spread over half the United States. Climate change is already happening, and it has entered our daily lives.