Climate change is a challenge for current generations

The average Canadian born in our shiny new year is expected to live until the final decade of the century.

Twin girls born minutes apart with different birthdays: Dec 31, 2013 and Jan 1, 2014 (Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario)

According to the World Health Organization, the life expectancy of Canadians is 82 years, which technically means a child born in 2014 will live, on average, until 2096, provided there is no change in mortality rates.

Predictions from climate models that you see on the news typically extend out to the end of the century. When scientists say that the planet may warm by 2-4 degrees C by the “end of the century”, they are typically describing the average of the years 2091 through 2100, though sometimes the average of the years 2081 through 2100.

In other words,  the climate predictions and the newborns have about the same lifespan.

A child born today will experience all the widely discussed impacts of climate change — the rise in temperature, the rise in the oceans, the change in heat extremes, the melting of sea ice, the decline of coral reefs, you name it.

We need to stop describing climate change as a problem for “future generations”. Those generations are here now.

4 thoughts on “Climate change is a challenge for current generations

  1. Very funny Klem. You might want to also teach not to assume things about other people 😉

    I haven’t actually told anyone to fear or to love climate change. I teach and talk about the science of why the climate is changing, in order to educate and in order to prepare people for the future. In general, people come away feeling like me, energized, not depressed, because they see a great opportunity to contribute to addressing an important challenge.

  2. That’s ok Simon. I’ve already explained to my children that a changing climate is nothing to fear. They understand that the climate always changes and change is part of nature. I’m bringing them up to view their own future as a time of prosperity and light, not a time of misery and darkness.

    They know that those who live their lives in fear and enjoy blaming themselves for the worlds woes, are just chronically depressed lefties such as yourself. The world is full of people like that.

    But thanks for the warning just the same.


  3. Pingback: Another Week of Climate Disruption News, January 12, 2014 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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