2019-06-13 23:31:55 UTC
"In March, paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill wrote a tweet containing possibly the most radical emotion a scientist can have about the climate crisis right now: optimism.
"Gill’s research at the University of Maine looks to the past to understand how species will respond to global changes. She speculated that it was this long-term perspective that allowed her to notice a legacy of adaptation and resilience. “With the fossil record, the Earth is literally teaching us how to get through this,” she wrote. “That makes me want to roll up my sleeves.”
"Her position flies in the face of a recent report by the Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, a think-tank in Melbourne, Australia, which predicted a future in which human life would end by 2050. Its conclusions were modeled on a worst-case scenario if we continue to barrel forward with current levels of carbon and methane emissions. Others have echoed that doom: that the Arctic's warming is now inevitable, and that our carbon levels have reached a point of no return.
"The end is nigh-type rhetoric can make us want to throw up our hands. But scientists who study the past have a unique case for the kind of pragmatic optimism that Gill speaks of. She and other paleoscientists and archaeologists scour the past for clues to help drive our future, and are finding a history of survival among people and animals alike.
"Their version of hope acknowledges that climate change is real, man-made, and an emergency. But despite it all, it reassures us: We’re not starting from scratch. “We can use this tremendous wealth of information that we have, and this tremendous ingenuity, and make really good evidence-based informed plans for how to move forward,” Gill said. “We have the tools and the capacity to move forward. We just need the will.”"
Do we have the will... or is is going to be business as usual.