I don’t suppose I need to tell you that it’s an unpleasant sensation when one of your petticoat pipes bursts, or how exquisitely painful it can be to blow a throttle valve. My less steam-powered readers may sympathize by way of analogy by considering their own discomfort at being incapacitated due to heat stroke. And, although unpleasant to a considerable degree, an increase in occurrences of people suffering this feverish fate—historically due to the consumption of a proliferation of potent potables during genetically regressive sunbathing sessions—will be the least of our problems should our true blue planet Earth’s global annual average temperature rise just 1˚ Celsius more. Yes, this week I, a humble robotic duplicate of Mark Twain, will report on the recent climate change findings of the WMO.
Early on Monday the WMO issued a press release saying definitively that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that in 2015, for the first time ever, the Earth’s global annual average temperature was approximately 1˚C (actually 0.76 +/- 0.1˚C) above the pre-industrial average. For those keeping track, this means that there is only 1˚C more in global warming wiggle room before we hit the much-discussed 2˚C warming limit. In fact, at the fools’ gold rush that was COP21 this limit was amended to be a 1.5˚C rise in the global annual average temperature. So, this means that slightly over a month after the 1.5˚C target was amended and agreed upon at the most recent climate change conference, we the constituents of the earth are already steamrolling that target by a margin of 0.16–0.36˚C.
One tries to do one’s small part in mitigating these increases in temperature. I recently switched from a coal-fired to a solar-powered boiler but one wonders what else a steam-powered robotic replica of one of America’s favorite humorists can do. One wants some direction from world leaders but if those directions lack any kind of meaningful enforcement strategy, what are we to do? As in so many other cases, I’m reminded of what my non-robotic original once said of humanity, “Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.”