Fever: we are at 38.7, and rising

Lets look ate the climate problem in another way: At a 1.5-degree increase, you have a fever, 38.5 degrees. You stay stay indoors, and move as little as possible; you don’t want to cause further damage. Because in various activities, you quickly start sweating and get tired. You won’t train for a marathon, travel abroad, or start renovating your house. Your surroundings shrink, your impact on them becomes smaller. And at 2 degrees or more, 39 or higher, most people are already lying on the couch, exhausted. Maybe binge-watching, but otherwise completely worn out. You also lose interest in acquiring new things, and even eating decreases. If temperature goes even higher, say at 3 degrees, or 40 degrees fever, it becomes dangerous. And you’re grateful to still be alive. (Your environmental impact, figuratively speaking, drops to almost 0 at that point).

The 1.5-degree mark has already been reached; in the Netherlands, we are already higher, Northern Europe gets a slightly larger share as the global average. But that’s only fair, we also emit much more than average. And we feel the effects more strongly. In the Netherlands, we live cramped together with about 550 people per km², living in increasingly wetter environments. The air quality is poor with various industrial and transportation pollutants, healthcare is lagging, commercial doctors no longer make house calls, medications are rationed, and we have insufficient ICU beds if the fever continues to rise, as we know from the Corona period.

But we’re not acting on it yet. We procrastinate, continue to build and grow as if nothing is wrong, making the pit we’re falling into even deeper, literally (sea-level rises, but the land sinks as well due to lowering groundwater levels). Yes, we place some windmills at sea for ‘a breath of fresh air’, but only if there’s money to be made (mostly by foreign commercial companies). And with that money, we, or rather they, start investing in all kinds of activities and crap (bullshit products), which will raise the fever. We just keep partying. In other words, awareness and broad communication of the problem are not progressing much. The urgency is not felt.

I propose that we use this other measure: body temperature. The body reactions to fever and related persons activity levels align quite well with the level of problems , and the activity of society (gradual collapse) we are going to face due to climate change, at 1, 2, 3 or 4 degrees rising temperatures. The reference would then not be 1.5 degrees compared to the long-term climate average but 1.5 degrees compared to body temperature. And we use that directly, added to 37 degrees.

Meanwhile, we are already a bit higher; the fever is rising: the Netherlands is now 1.7 degrees warmer [1], so it is now at 38.7 degrees fever. It is noticeable everywhere; various systems falter or show signs of faltering, think of drinking water, power supply, medications, nature, biodiversity, pump capacity in heavy rain periods, and so on.

And we already know that 39 degrees is inevitable in the coming years, no matter what we do, and that 40 degrees is on the horizon if we don’t intervene drastically very quickly. Then we will all be lying exhausted, and we won’t have the energy to intervene anymore. And with a fever of 4 degrees, at 41 degrees…

Author: ronald rovers