What does a 6 degree warmer World look like?

No one really knows for sure how global warming will play out, there are so many uncertainties and variables but we can take a look at the past and best guesses point to conditions around 251 million years ago, the end Permian mass extinction when around 90% of all species died out.

Humanity stands at a crossroads, either we carry on burning all the fossil fuels we can lay our hands on and press on towards 6 degrees of catastrophe or we make a conscious decision to leave the stuff in the ground, to choose climate safety over corporate profit, to choose life.

This decision is being made for us, right now, by executives in board rooms and politicians in back rooms and it’s time we had a voice for our future.

We’ve reached a defining moment in our history, a defining point in time and it’s being defined by oil companies chasing Tar Sands in Canada.

Under the Boreal forests of Alberta, a dirty bituminous substance, a mixture of sand and oil, is being extracted in a process which results in 3 to 5 times more CO2 emissions than conventional oil.
But it’s the scale of the operation which makes it not just a Canadian problem but a global threat.

It’s the biggest and dirtiest industrial project on Earth with a toxic sacrifice zone the size of England.
It’s burning the same amount of natural gas as 3.2 million Canadian homes and by 2012 is set to overtake domestic consumption. The CO2 emission rate in Alberta is 71 tonnes per person.
It uses at least 3 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of oil, resulting in ‘tailing ponds’ covering 130 Sq.Km - visible from space. These ponds are so toxic that when 1,600 ducks landed on them, they all died instantly.
The pollution and leaking ponds is causing extraordinary rates of cancer amongst the First Nation and Indigenous people of the area whose land and treaty rights have been trashed like the forests and rivers they rely upon.

So why is this so important to the world?
The International Energy Agency pointed out that if the exploitation of tar sands is allowed to continue unfettered, we would end up in a world where a six degree rise in temperature was a fact of life.

Up to now it’s been profit at any cost, but if we can show that Tar Sands are a step too far, it would be a major implementation of a new consciousness.
The abuse of the environment, human rights and legal rights is shocking but also makes it winnable.

Increasingly the source of that money has been put under pressure, in the UK and Norway, banks which are now mostly publicly owned and been investing in this have been feeling the heat of public attention.
The oil companies themselves are under attack, BP and Shell in the UK, Statoil in Norway.
Next up is the Canadian government which has decided to take the oily dollar and sacrifice the clean, green image of Canada, with it’s emissions jumping 27% it has completely abandoned it’s Kyoto Protocol targets.

This is a defining moment in our history, a time to make a choice, make it our choice.

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