Earth has warmed about 1°C since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The northern hemisphere is particularly susceptible to accelerated warming and summers in the northern hemisphere are already hotter than they’ve been for 600 years.i
In the past, many human civilizations were ruined and radically transformed as a direct result of ecosystem collapse and catastrophic climate change. For example, drought brought an end to many early civilizations in the Fertile Crescent.ii
Once again, human civilization has reached a turning point in climate change. Local and global catastrophic collapses can occur anytime without prior warning. Island nations and low-lying coastal areas are already losing lives and homes to stronger storms and rising seas.
But, in the face of mounting evidence of global warming, most governments, organizations and individuals view the threat of climate change as distant and irrelevant. As in past crises of inaction, across the globe, development and personal activities that generate greenhouse gases (GHGs) are intensifying, even as collapse of entire ecosystems are fully under way.
But understanding the nature of climate change and the serious risks humans face does not have to lead to apathy and despair. Nor does pessimism about climate agreements justify inaction. Cultures and civilizations have developed very rapidly, and can be quickly transformed again. Many people across the globe are already taking action, resisting fossil-based development and pressuring governments to reduce GHG.
According to one news report, up to 400,000 people die every year from the effects of climate change every year.iii And, WHO estimates that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.iv So even small acts can shrink these numbers.
As J. Krishnamurti stated in Oak Grove, California in 1945, “The present is of the highest importance; the present, however tragic and painful, is the only door to Reality. The future is the continuance of the past through the present; through understanding the present is the future transformed.”v
Personal changes can result in lowering GHG footprints, and solve human-caused global warming. Knowing the gravity of the situation, and GHG costs of dietary choices, can lead to better decision-making. This books contains a lot of information to help readers make better consumption choices and lower dietary footprints.
iMartin P Tingley & Peter Huybers. 2013. "Recent temperature extremes at high northern latitudes unprecedented in the past 600 years." Nature 496, 201–205. April 11.
iiPaul Brown. 2014. "Climate Change Heralds End of Civilizations." Truthdig. August 14.
iiiGar Alperovitz. 2014. "Pessimism about climate change does not justify inaction." Al Jazerra America, Opinion. November 10.
ivWHO. 2014. "Climate change and health." WHO Fact sheet N°266.
vJ. Krishnamurti. 1947. "Authentic Report of Sixteen Talks given in 1945 and 1946 by Krishnamurti." Ojai: Krishnamurti Writings, Inc.