The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns we have maybe 4,000 days to bring our carbon emissions down to zero and begin re-sequestering the carbon we’ve already released.
The world stands at about 413 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere when the last known safe level was 350 ppm.
Recently, a massive winter bomb cyclone struck the U.S. Midwest, dropping feet of snow combined with tremendous winds. Days later, the temperature suddenly warmed to late spring levels, bringing severe flooding. With current conditions, events like this will become much more frequent, severe, and widespread.
This is concerning, but Sooke is well positioned to weather such events. Earthquake hardening gives us more resilient infrastructure. We have a large rural population trying to supplement tenuous import food chains. We have sources of local, clean, emergency water supplies and we have an ocean.
What we don’t have is a plan: a plan that takes us to net zero in 4,000 days. A plan to maintain the essentials of civilization in a negative carbon, climate disaster future. A plan that looks toward feeding 14,000 people with no food imports. A plan to keep the lights on.
Earthquake planning is a good place to start, but a climate disaster can strike again and again in a single year.
U.S. emergency planners have already found that climate events that were considered to have a probability of happening once a century should now be considered as having a probability of once every 20 years or less.
Coastal communities are at particular risk, and the majority of humans live on or near the coast. And we have only 4,000 days to prepare.