Year 3, Month 6, Day 10: You Thought Y2K Was Gonna Be Bad? Try CO24C.

Yay, us:

The world’s air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.

Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn’t quite a surprise, because it’s been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395.

So far, only the Arctic has reached that 400 level, but the rest of the world will follow soon.

Upfucked ungood. Sorry, kids. Good luck with your lives; you’re gonna need it. Sent May 31:

As kids, we clustered around the driver’s seat when the odometer on our family car turned over; Dad would decelerate a bit and we’d call off fractions of a mile. All those zeros were tangible proof of how far we’d traveled. Sometimes we’d celebrate (ice-cream!).

Now we get to watch as another and considerably more ominous number scrolls by. When CO2 is measured at 400 parts per million in the atmosphere over the Arctic, though, it’s nothing to celebrate. Scientists agree that the survival of our civilization hinges on keeping concentrations of this greenhouse gas below 350 ppm, a landmark we crossed decades ago.

While we always came home at the end of a family drive, it now looks as though industrial humans may have driven too far. The Earth we grew up on is irreversibly behind us, thanks to the past century’s profligate consumption of fossil fuels. No cheering this time.

Warren Senders

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