Our global civilisation is built on the illusion that ground is solid. Most of the time it is, but during an earthquake it definitely is not. Even if we knew in advance when a transition was going to occur, there is nothing we could do to mitigate its effects. Our only hope is that we have prepared sufficiently well by building strongly enough to withstand the forces unleashed. Sometimes we are lucky …
Our understanding of our environment is distorted by timescales. We have taken a “snapshot” of the Earth during one of its extreme states, and classified that as “Normal”. In fact, “normal” would be more accurately depicted during the middle of an Ice Age. Whereas the human lifespan is around 70 years, the Earth is already 4.5 billion years old, and has not yet reached middle age. The first page gives some background facts that could help to improve our understanding of the situation.
Note that the period on the Earth’s geological timescale of which the snapshot was taken – the Holocene – is now coming to an end.
Our assumption that our present way of life can continue indefinitely is completely wrong. Changes are coming, whether we like it or not, and there is precious little that we can do to limit their effects. The second page gives details of the changes that can be expected.
With the Earth in a new state, the terms of survival for all the creatures on it will be redefined. Survival, if at all possible, will be extremely difficult, and only for a vastly reduced population. Time is of the essence. Although the changes have already been set in motion, there are still some factors that can be influenced to mitigate the most drastic effects, but the longer we delay, the worse it will become.
The third page details measures that we should be implementing as fast as possible.
Estimates vary for the time needed for the Earth to reach a new stable state, but all have one common factor – as new data becomes available, the time estimates get shorter. To provide a basis for argument, a time of 100 years to achieve stabilisation has been allowed. We are able to see in advance what the new conditions will be like to a great extent, and the changes will be of such magnitude that discussions about accuracy cease to have any real relevance. There may well be still some unknown factors, but the ones we already are aware of are sufficient to enable a new “snapshot” to be generated.
This page gives a suggested picture of what could be possible in the future.