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Energy & Sustainability :: Features :: May 25, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print Climate scientists think a perfect storm of climate "flips" could cause massive upheavals in a matter of years By Fred Guterl Adapted from The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It , by Fred Guterl (Bloomsbury USA, 2012). The eminent British scientist James Lovelock, back in the 1970s, formulated his theory of Gaia, which held that the Earth was a kind of super organism.
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate. Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control.